The other day my toddler wanted to do my makeup. Sure! That sounded like fun. So I got out my bin of makeup and let her be creative. She picked out the sparkly lip gloss first, of course. Sparkle is a must. She selected the darkest blush and gave me some nice bright cheeks. She poked me with eyeliner. She carefully applied lipstick. She covered some of it with my cream-to-powder foundation. We had a lot of fun. She finished and declared that I was beautiful. I stood up and looked in the mirror.
I had a good laugh.
But as I stood there looking at my darling daughter’s work I thought, “This is exactly how I felt when I first tried talking with people about politics.”
It’s not easy bringing up political topics without study and practice. I tried jumping in the way my toddler eagerly picked up the blush and started smearing stuff on my face. It wasn’t until I paused and started educating myself on the finer points of political topics that I started looking a little better — or at least feeling better. So for anyone else who struggles like I did (and sometimes still do), let me offer a few things that I’ve picked up along the way for how to participate in a political conversation.
Number one, verify information. We instantly look ridiculous if we repeat or pass along information that isn’t true. People are taking the time to listen to your opinion and they deserve to hear things that have been verified, not regurgitated.
Number two, don’t be afraid to accept new ideas. For years I used to wear my make up a certain way and it worked for a while. But I stumbled upon some new ideas that were much better. It’s okay to change things up and accept new ideas, even in politics.
Number three, a little research can go a long way. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve learned as I’ve researched political topics. I now understand a lot better where other people are coming from, even if I don’t necessarily agree. It helps me appreciate the complexity of the issue as well as appreciate where the other person is coming from.
Bottom line, we don’t have to look ridiculous when attempting to have a political conversation. There are ways to clean up the awkward lines and look good.