“I’m not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition. I think that I am qualified to speak only when I’ve reached that state.” ~ Charlie Munger

Propagating fear and division among family and friends does not serve us. It may serve someone, but it does not serve you, or I, or the good of community.

Perhaps we see this more clearly than before in this contemporary environment of  polarizing opinions, so strongly held they  divide families and communities.

Divisive opinions grew with Trump, transferred to a virus, and became ever more entrenched.

Collectively, we are tiring of the division, and ready to put it behind us. “Lets move on” is the prevailing sentiment.

It seems to me we should learn from this experience, particularly in the regenerative agriculture space.

We have the benefit of having a lot of facts and science in support of regenerative agriculture. There are also many facts and science that can be marshaled by advocates of contemporary agriculture.

Frequently, those with different perspectives are not even describing the same things, or discussing the same ideas, since they approach the discussion from very different world views.

What are the beliefs you have very strong opinions about? These might be beliefs about the usefulness of GMO’s, the benefits of anhydrous ammonia, the effectiveness of glyphosate,  the value of cover crops, the use of phosphorus fertilizers, etc. etc. etc.

How well can you articulate the opposing point of view?

Your ability to articulate the opposing point of view is likely to correspond to your level of empathy for those who hold a different view.  You now understand their perspective, even though you may not agree with it.

Developing empathy with those who hold a different point of view is a foundational requirement if we wish to intervene and facilitate a shift in perspective.

If you think glyphosate is great, or glyphosate is damaging, is your opinion a qualified one? Or are you depending on the opinions of others?

Asking ourselves and our colleagues to develop qualified opinions or acknowledge when our opinion is not yet qualified, can bring about a deeper understanding and openness with each other.

What are you qualified to have an opinion about?