In an interview about his vital new book ENLIGHTENMENT NOW, Steven Pinker says that amidst his deeply grounded optimism about the progress that has brought us thus far, his three top concerns are climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the rise of authoritarian populism and fascism. Seems to me that if we want to make some kind of impact on all three, that our priority should be tribalism - the climate change conversation is diluted and resisted on ideological/tribal grounds, the threat of nuclear war is firmly rooted in a notion of group identity that wants to reduce or eradicate the space for the other, and authoritarian rule appeals to isolationist beliefs.

I think this raises two challenges/opportunities: the first is to question how my own beliefs and practices might manifest as tribalism - in other words, where does the way I want to belong overlap into causing other people to suffer? The second is whether or not I am willing to take one small step to dissolve tribalism by trying to get to know someone whose beliefs I oppose, and seek some common ground.

If you think you voted differently from me at the last election, would you be willing to have a conversation in which we listen to each other about our hopes and concerns, and maybe figure out something we could do for the common good, together?