My son and I have been listening to a Teaching Company course on chaos and fractals. Fractals, as you may know, are those really cool mathematical constructs that have “self-similar” characteristics; small parts of the fractal look like the larger whole.
I have the sense that some of the behavior we observe in our day-to-day world has some fractal-like characteristics. The negative behavior that rare individuals exhibit seems to be exhibited by small groups of people and even by entire systems. This negativity seems to pervade our political system and is so depressing when it comes to the efforts to reform health care.
I don’t know anyone who wants there to be uninsured people who don’t have access to health care. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to see the spiraling cost of health care brought under control. While there are certainly reasonable disagreements on how to achieve those goals, there’s no place (in my humble opinion) for denigrating the motives of people who see a different means to those ends.
To move forward and achieve consensus, I propose that we treat the negatives we hear from other individuals, small groups, and even large political policies with a positive message such as: “We hear you, we hear your concerns, and we understand that you care, too.” Hopefully such positive messaging will bring down defensive barriers and lead to a more collegial and effective discussion of reforming the health care system.