Every couple of months, I host a gathering of myself and three other men. Three of us are old enough to be retired, the fourth old enough to be a grandfather. We snack and drink wine and talk.
What makes the group fascinating to me is that two of us are progressive and the other two quite conservative. That leads to differing views on all manner of subjects. But all four of us agree on one issue: we don’t want to see Donald Trump as president again.
Within the group, I play my usual role of the introvert—I don’t say much but I listen attentively. Both conservative members are quite extroverted and dominate the conversation. The other progressive doesn’t appear to be at all reticent, but he limits his contributions to incisive and often final observations.
Although the two conservative members of the group often express viewpoints that I disagree with, I invariably learn from them. They are articulate, intelligent, and honest. I was surprised to discover that I could absorb so much new information and especially new ways of looking at things by giving close attention to men I differ with.
I remain grateful to my three partners: they are willing to teach me, and I am willing to learn.