How are we different?
For many, we have the understanding that nothing can be in the best interest of everyone, save the freedom to decide for ourselves. There is no “one size fits all” solution to any particular issue, because we all have different situations and needs.
At our core, we understand this, as we recognize individualism. Our belief in the individual leads us to point out a lack of compassion and understanding when we see solutions involving force. We understand why a person should not be forced to buy a product they do not wish to consume. We also share compassion for those who are wrongfully arrested for the crime of helping their fellow man.
This clarity on ACTUAL understanding and compassion is what sets us apart from other political ideologies, but what about when it comes to beliefs differing from our own?
Often, we fail to recognize any other belief’s legitimacy as an option for others, especially those who haven’t embraced libertarianism, to consider.
By going straight on an attack, we alienate our potential new libertarian. We put them in the defensive position, standing up for their beliefs, rather than allowing them to understand the ideas we wish to share.
By no means should we endorse a belief that doesn’t meet our own moral and ideological standards. We should simply offer our understanding that an opposing view exists and use questions to get a better understanding of their reasoning for holding such a belief.
When faced with a discussion surrounding the personal life decisions of an individual, we often sound “heartless” by pointing to prior decisions as the cause for situational strife. A touch of understanding can go a long way when discussing issues regarding those in lower socio-economic strata.
By showing compassion for the sequence of life events that brought them to their current situation, we can empathize and gain a better understanding of their lives, before judging and demonizing their decisions. That alone will garner their respect and make them more receptive to suggestions about how freedom to choose can lead to better outcomes for everyone.
When we approach these situations with understanding and compassion, our ability to empathize, and a willingness to learn, we broaden the conversation to more than us vs. them. We open ourselves up to a thoughtful dialogue that may actually lead them to the principles and beliefs that we hold dear.
Isn’t that better than fighting about our disagreements?