If they are only 1% right, that changes everything

In this excerpt from the Coz Green Audio Experience Podcast, Coz Green interviews Peter Montoya about his latest book and asks him how we can cross the bridge and strengthen relationships with people that hold different political opinions.

What else can we do to strengthen the relationships within our tribe and cross the bridge? To empathize and deepen those relationships with those not in our tribe.

Yeah. One thing that I’ve really done is I’ve become much more skeptical. And I used to be one of those people who would find somebody who is. Misinformed and sharing something on social media or publicly that was wrong, and I thought it was my job.

There’s someone wrong on the Internet and I would, you know, spring into action to go and try to correct them. And what I really learned is, number one, they really don’t like that. No matter how wrong they are, they really don’t appreciate that.

That’s the first thing that I realized. And the second and far more valuable thing I realized is that finding out where somebody else is wrong does me little value. What really helps me is learning about learning and figuring out where I’m wrong.

So I’ve gotten very, very skeptical of what I want to believe, not what I want to prove wrong. So when someone says something to me and I go, oh, yeah, that’s certainly true. That’s my moment where I go, wait a second, am I just hearing what I want to believe or am I hearing what actually is truthful

? So I treat all of my knowledge and all of my beliefs as temporary, pending new information, and I will discard a bad belief or bad knowledge. I have no loyalty to my own knowledge or my own beliefs. I’m constantly looking for the best current data.

And I will hold it as such. Just data or information versus being a conviction or being a fact. Very, very loosely until being replaced by new information. And that’s one of the things that I use as a tool.

And I hope to demonstrate that for other people, because most people think that what they think is who they are. And I really disavow that mentality of what you are, what you believe I am. This great consciousness, this great witness inside, which is has my heart and my soul inside of it that wants to do well for

the human beings. And that’s the part that I want to go to, not to my ego, which contains my judgmentalism in my tribalism. And I’ve learned that the more judgmental that I am, the worse I am towards others, the worse I am on myself.

And so I really find judgmentalism and tribalism to be a very, very effective form of emotional rot.

That’s a great point. I remember hearing when I was a child, someone said to me, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. When we try to change each other’s opinions, we’re only digging deeper.

So I like what you’re saying, that even if you just have in your heart and in your mind, I don’t know. Absolute truth. What if they’re one percent right? What if they’re 10 percent right? Whatever the other side is, right, because we always say, well, I’m 100 percent right, they’re 100 percent wrong.

If we just suspend the belief that we have the corner on the market of all truth, that maybe they have some, too. That changes everything. And as you said, that’s the wisdom, right? So knowledge plus experience with time to reflect equals wisdom.

How are we going to help the those younger I don’t want to say the millennials, because that puts them in a box, but those younger than you and I see things differently because we can’t just say, well, they’ll grow out of it in 20 years.

You’re suggesting we can do something now, not just let people get older?

Yeah. Well, my objective, whenever I’m having a conversation with somebody, whether they’re eighty eight or twenty eight, is usually the same. And that is not to win. It actually is to increase my empathy and my ability to cooperate with other Americans.

I as a leader and I do a lot of leadership training, I really think the best thing that I can do as a leader is make a good decision. The second best thing I can do is make a bad decision.

And the worst thing I can do is sit and argue about decision to make no decision at all. So I’d rather be convinced of a bad idea with other Americans and least be heading in a direction that we can self-correcting versus being stuck in this bloodsport of bludgeoning the other side to try to get them to capitulate

. It is a no win trench war that we are in in both sides. And what’s amazing is, as I’ve been traveling around doing these presentations, as I’ve been doing the zoom meetings and getting the emails and seeing the comments is everyone on both sides says I’m right.

But very few people are willing to do the work of disavowing their political political affiliation, choosing to be as independent as one can be, and choosing to do what’s in the best interests of the country. 

If you are more committed to national unity than partisanship, please check out my book, The Second Civil War: A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation. My book will challenge you to improve your relationships with friends and family.

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