Saturday, July 6, 2019

From Bubble to Bubble

Photo of Rock Canyon, Provo, Utah

Read: From Bubble to Bubble by Sahil Lavingia

In Brief

Not long ago ago, Sahil Lavingia was living in San Francisco, CEO of a high-tech startup and hanging around with a lot of like-minded folks. For various reasons, he decided to upend his life and move to "the most conservative (and religious) city over 100,000 people in America."

I identified as progressive and they identified as conservative. While we agreed on so much, the language we used made it seem like we did not. It was as if we had access to totally different dictionaries.

That metaphor of "different dictionaries" is a potent one. Through multiple examples he shows how we share mostly the same concerns. We may emphasize different issues and often we talk about them in different terms; even when we use the same terms we may have different meanings. But with a modest amount of effort we find common ground.

Lavingia is still CEO of the same startup. And it's growing and healthy. His journey to learn more about people that are different from him is enlightening. Of course, it helps that Lavingia is a fantastic writer. But the best outcome would be for us to follow his example by sticking our heads into other people's bubbles.

Today, I only debate in person. Anything else is pointless, because it is too easy to walk away. I make sure we’re pulling from the same dictionary, and I make sure we’re aligned on the same goal, and not about making sure the other person converts to their side.

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