Arthur Brooks is one of my favourite thinkers and writers.
Though we have never met, I would love the opportunity to sit, enjoy a meal and a fine scotch with him, just for the sheer joy of the conversation.
Brooks believes that America is being torn apart, but the problem isn’t one of incivility, intolerance, or even anger.
He says the problem is contempt.
Defines as the conviction that those who disagree with us are not just wrong, but worthless.
Arthur Brooks explains why contempt is so destructive and offers three rules to follow to overcome contempt with warm-heartedness in our own lives.
He offers practical suggestions for how to fight back against the culture of contempt.
Here are three to get you started:
1. Practice the 5 to 1 rule. Offer five positive and encouraging comments for every one criticism, especially on social media. You’ll be amazed at how changing this one aspect of your interactions with others improves public discourse.
2. Stand up for people who aren’t in the room. It’s easier than ever to bash the people who disagree with us, but it only foments contempt. If your friends who agree with you start mocking people who disagree with you, don’t be a jerk, but stand up for those not represented.
3. Ask yourself who in your life you’ve treated with contempt, and make amends. Contempt creates a vicious cycle, but by acknowledging how you have hurt others with mockery or dismissiveness, you’ll be able to repair relationships.
Brook’s details all of this and more in a short, animated video about why contempt is so destructive and what we can do to fight back against it today. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/8dv1ORTvm8w
What about you?
Where can you demonstrate warm-heartedness in our own life?