Opinion Piece: Our Culture of Contempt
Written By: Arthur C. Brooks
We make an assumption that our ideology is based in benevolence and love and our opponents is based in hate and evil.
Contempt makes political compromise and progress impossible, and also increases anxiety, depression, and sadness. It also stimulates stress hormones in the contemptuous person.
Large majorities of Americans will privately say they’re tired of how divided we are and that compromise is important.
Disagreement is not contempt. We need to disagree, but disagree better.
When you find yourself hating something, someone is making money or winning elections off of your contempt. Unless a leader is actually teaching you something you didn’t know or expanding your worldview, you are being used.
Make a commitment to never treat others with contempt. Contempt makes persuasion impossible – no one has ever been hated into agreement.
To address this, we need to se contempt as an opportunity, not a threat. When treated with contempt, respond with warmheartedness and good humor.