Balanced, Innovative Perspectives

BIP CRITICAL THINKING

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy and David Malloy

We have been working together in the media as television talk show hosts and producers, writing, producing and presenting seminars, public speaking, free-lancing and reporting for local newspapers since 1990. When we started in the field one of our mentors was an old time reporter and he always emphasized the importance of balanced fact finding without personal opinion in the articles. That approach has stayed with us and we carry it through in everything we write, produce and present to the public. In our view much of what is trending in the media and politics today is filled with more commentary than balanced, innovative reporting. We created this blog and other related links so we could gather and present perspectives in innovative, ways.

Clients and followers often ask how to determine what balanced perspectives actually are. Here are some of the definitions and guidelines we strive for in gathering information to share with others are outlined below. When speaking of balanced the image that often comes to mind is the scale of justice. Ideally, it does not tip too much in either direction and we keep the scale of justice in mind when sourcing out information. Our goal is to present information in a balanced way that encourages critical thinking skills so clients and readers make informed choices.

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The scale of justice symbolizes justice and the ability and power to make informed decisions. Sharing balanced innovative perspectives requires a presentation of ideas within state of equilibrium or equipoise; equality in amount, weight, value, or importance. We are active participants in social media and frequently bear witness to those who either silently or openly resist any opinion other than their own. The loud clunk and the sound of minds closing reveals   they are not interested in the facts because their minds are made up. Whenever we observe polarization in conversational styles, it is clear they are heavily invested in their current mindset. So much so that they are unable to respect what anyone else thinks. Whether it is conspiracy theorists, fear-mongers, religious zealots, gun fanatics or a whole host of other dogmatic ideologies for many out

Words hold great power and as communicators and motivators it is always enjoyable when ideas are expressed in balanced ways that lead to pleasing harmonious proportions where clauses, phrases, ideas, etc. have parallel constructions for rhetorical effect. When presenting ideas we find a rightness of conviction without a respect for differing viewpoints is not respectful and at times the self-important and authorities ring is arrogant and irritating to those looking for middle ground through critical analysis. Comparatively speaking when there is openness to opposing views or equal-opportunity presentations through factual data content it has a more harmonious feel when listening and reading.

Whenever ideas are presented in balanced, innovative ways it allows the readership to  sift and sort through the information and commentary in ways that   comparess ideas in relative importance and value. There is always more than one angle to any story and keeping things in a healthy balance involves the ability to think outside the box of conditioned thinking and keep things in a state of equilibrium. From our perception it is not so much about winning the argument as it is getting to the truth through critical thinking and fact checking. It is something we strive for in all we are and do.

As life coaches, motivational speakers and seminar leaders we share a commimtent to   fosterog a more universal sense of community by honouring differences, encouraging people to open their hearts and minds and sharingtheir knowledge, culture, beliefs and perspectives through respectful dialog. For more information about who we are and what we do check out the website for our personal development company Fresh Beginnings: www.fresh-beginnings.com and a book Coralie wrote about her spiritual journey to health and wholeness that became the foundation for Fresh Beginnings to build upon. www.ibtbook.com

BIP ELEPHANT BALANCE

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Sharing Perspectives With Respectful Dialog

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This graphic suggests 20 ways to create loving, healthy relationships

This graphic suggests 20 ways to create loving, healthy relationships

Respectful Dialog 101

Respectful Dialog 101

By Coralie Raia Darsey-Malloy

There are some who refuse to think…they just rearrange their prejudices.–Dr. Robert Anthony

This article has been previously published and all rights are reserved. If you choose to share please include CRDM Writing Road as the original source.
In our work as group leaders, life coaches and public speakers, some advise against discussing religion, politics and spirituality. We choose to do so and find that it is not the ideas that are offensive. More often than not, it is the tone and presentation that offends. In our interactions, we find people with open hearts and minds discuss most anything. Our approach involves something we call “respectful dialog.” This method allows each side to listen attentively so they can hear differing points of view. It requires understanding and a respect for differences.

Respectful dialog is not about polarization through black/white/right/wrong thinking. It looks for common ground. Even when there does not appear to be any; an acceptance that people have a right to their opinions, choices and lifestyles whether others agree or not. Respectful dialog involves attentive listening, openness and acceptance in the face of differing opinions.

The biggest clue that they are not receptive to another point of view is the tendency to divert attention back to their position. They override, discredit and/or ignore opinions other than their own. We had one person who was bold enough to emphatically state, “I don’t care what the facts are I believe what I think is “right.” That loud clunk is the sound of minds’ closing.

Some reporters in the media follow “trends” rather than verifying facts. Consequently, uninformed participants in social media share it through sources without checking sources or verifying information. When critical thinking is absent, some develop conspiracy theories without hard evidence. Whether the information is visual or hard copy a heavy investment and need to “prove the point” may create a need to misconstrue information. Some use edited snippets to slant information in the desired direction. Sometimes the small fragments of truth are believable enough to sway perceptions.

Basic human rights involve right of choice. At times one cannot control life events but everyone has control over how they respond. In our view…the cause and effect of every thought and action has a ripple or “butterfly” effect. That is why we consistently suggest that every point of view has merit and with that approach, differences do not create discord.

Conflicts develop when communication styles are accusatory attacks with right/wrong judgments and/or condescending demeanors. Who are we to judge? Who makes anyone else the authority in the lives of others? Are we ever really qualified to cast stones? Critical thinkers with open hearts and compassionate sight understand that their views may be erroneous. Perception is not truth and those living within a conditioned existence and rigid beliefs it can be daunting to consider opposing positions.

Loving behaviors towards others does not include judgments, condemnations, superiority, bigotry, pride, control and belittling. Those who keep their heart-minds open show compassion and respect for differences. With love as a core belief, they allow others to create life as they choose without any need to interfere or dictate how or what anyone else is, or is not doing. Perceptions about “truth” are in reality…just that. Perceptions based on teachings passed down by others and eventually integrated as one’s own. Shaping and claiming it to be “truth” is, in many cases conditioned existence where “normal” is whatever one is used to experiencing.

When one is able to explore views and information from a variety of sources, they naturally avoid self-righteousness. Life would be less complicated with a higher emphasis causing harm to none, unity and consensus over diverseness and judgments. The spiritual perspectives we will be offering here are ones based an abiding respect for the opinions of others whether we agree or not. Comments and feedback are always welcome when offered with respectful dialog.