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Changing Hears and Minds

In Episode 4, we learned about Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon’s inspirational story. Still, for those of us living through court decisions that ultimately decide our rights to equality, the process can often be devastating on our mental health. The highly politicized environments surrounding LGBTQ+ cases cause heightened animosity from those who oppose equality, which can lead to increased fear as we navigate our lives, especially for those of us in unaccepting environments or homes.

Hateful things said by political leaders or even family members can echo in our ears for what seems like an eternity. Regardless of these disagreements, we can still promote kindness and maintain respectful rhetoric. This can be difficult, but we often come to regret letting others’ words determine our own actions.

It can be tempting to turn to hurtful words or jokes that attack the other side, rather than simply sticking to the main persuasive points that led us to our conclusions. So while jokes and memes may be funny in the moment, sharing them can also be damaging to your own mental health as well as your persuasive ability. Remember that people’s views can change over time as they develop a better understanding with new information.

Without changed views over time, the United States would never progress on equal rights and other concepts of liberty and justice. We should continue that progress, and persuasion, and steer clear of blatantly divisive statements that only push opponents away from listening to us.

We can wrap up the segment with a simple mantra that holds true even in political debate: When you are kind to others, you are actually being kind to yourself.

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