Letter to the Editor: The power of listening

Dear Editor:

This is in response to several letters published on Aug. 31, 2017 on your editorial page.
We should all try to listen.

Learning to listen to one another is important. But listening to learn something is even more important. We are always learning. 

We should learn to listen without arguing, and discuss without getting upset. We should avoid pointing out that we are right and the other person is wrong. We all have a message and something to contribute. 

John F. Kennedy was very good at listening. He paid attention to every word a person was saying and then repeated them to make a point that he was listening.

Let’s all get along by listening to what each of us is saying. 

Guido Rivero

Dear Editor: 

Here we go again with the culture wars in the Downey Patriot. It’s easy to blame the other side and not see one’s own side’s faults. Instead of focusing on uniting our country, these tribal attacks divide us.

I have a suggestion to end these culture wars: Ask each person who only listens to Fox News to spend at least one hour a week listening to MSNBC. Ask each person who listens only to MSNBC to spend at least one hour listening to Fox News. And both should check out PBS NewsHour, which generally presents both sides.

It worked for me. I have a relative who used to argue with me continuously, using talking points from his conservative media programs. One day I asked him to come over and listen to a Rachel Maddow MSNBC program I had taped. He sat down and listened to the whole show. At the end, he said in amazement, “Wow, I have never heard that before.” 

And that was the end of our unpleasant arguments. 

He is still conservative in his way of thinking and I am progressive, but he realized that when he listens to only conservative media he is getting a one-sided view and that there are other ideas that are valid and worthy of consideration as well. And yes, I have been listening to conservative programs as well.

We need to hear both sides so that we can get along.

Anita Rivero