My name is Romney, and I am new to Project LIT. I must admit, I was very pleased when I first heard about this project from Neda. I could immediately tell upon hearing the premise that this was an excellent endeavor to be a part of.
This is precisely the sort of thing our generation should be doing: promoting the coming together of diverse individuals to share ideas, thoughts, news, comments, and opinions. I have always been a firm believer that conversation and discourse are the key to human progress, as they allow us to learn about new ideas and perspectives we might otherwise have never heard of.
Communication is the foundation of innovation and development – nothing was ever created in total isolation. That is why freer societies lead the world in technological and social advancements, and why the considerable development of information technology – the internet, social media, cell-phones – has coincided with some of the most rapid developments in human history.
More importantly though, the exchange of ideas facilitates cooperation, empathy, and understanding. When we expose ourselves to someone else’s perspectives, we establish a connection. We may come to realize that someone else has a good idea we come to agree with after all; we discover shared interests and concerns; we find the common ground that unites us.
Of course, we’ll often hear or see things we don’t like. We’ll often find little, if anything, to agree with. Communication doesn’t instantly create togetherness or always mitigate hostility. But the point is, the very attempt to do so can still create a net benefit – for every person we find ourselves disagreeing with, is someone who may learn or appreciate your point of view (and visa-versa). And who is to say that disagreement must always be a bad thing?
Even if we come to realize that we don’t care about the other side, we still come away knowing something about them. Most of all, we’re able to challenge our own deeply held notions, and hold them up to scrutiny. We can either strengthen our position, or realize that perhaps we had it wrong after all. In any case, no belief or conviction should ever go untested. We must always apply inquiry, reflection, and contemplation, as it is facilitated by debate and dialogue (as well as a sincere commitment to explore a diversity of sources, such as book, periodical, etc).
We live in a world beset by numerous social, political, environmental, and economic problems, many of which are unprecedented in their scope and scale. No single idea or perspective will be enough. No one party, idea, political wing, institution, or individual has all the answers all the time. Things change, and so does conventional wisdom. We must always allow ourselves to evolve and develop; we must always be receptive to the bigger world that’s out there, and make an effort to learn about news, events, and musings that inhabit it. It is for these reasons that I am proud and pleased to be a part of this great project.
I look forward to a very illuminating future, and I hope to do my part to contribute to it as well.