In New Essay Series, Holthouse Urges Readers to ‘Meet in the Middle’ in Contentious Times

In New Essay Series, Holthouse Urges Readers to ‘Meet in the Middle’ in Contentious Times

When I began contemplating a theme for a weekly essay that would be enjoyable and, more importantly, productive, it became clear that "Meet Me in the Middle" was where I wanted to land. At a time in our country's history when it seems that its people are more divided than ever before, and a time when we find ourselves in the middle of a very close — and, at this writing, still unresolved — election (at the end of the most calamitous year of our lifetime) meeting in the middle is at the top of my mind.


Although the obvious topic for this piece can be political, there are countless subjects that can be broached where two opposing points of view can be discussed. Sure, there are the obvious heated arguments such as liberalism vs. conservatism, left vs. right, Black Lives Matter vs. All Lives Matter, standing vs. kneeling — and I am not afraid to go there. But there are also places to go such as private school vs. charter school, keto vs. vegetarian, Eastern vs. Western medicine. There is so much to talk about! And is there really a right or a wrong to every discussion? Or is there a way to meet in the middle? This is what I want to explore.

I feel that very few are willing to meet in the middle anymore. People have such strong opinions that they open their mouths but close their ears. There is no more two-sided dialogue. It's all one-sided and, frankly, angry. What would happen if we were to close our mouths and listen more? And again, I'm not just talking about politics or current affairs. I'm talking about what's the best time to eat dinner. Or should my son take Spanish or Chinese. I hope through simple essays that together we can find some middle ground, moving the needle toward acceptance.

When did it become torture to be subjected to another person's viewpoint? I find it heartbreaking to hear that some people refuse to sit at a dinner table with old friends who have opposing political views. It wasn't always that way. I've seen it firsthand and it's incredibly disheartening. I'm all for expressing your point of view in a gentle and calm manner. I truly enjoy digging into the minds of family or friends who have opposing views from my own, for the sake of opening my own mind even further. It's the best way to grow and become the highest version of myself.

Today, as I sit to write my first essay, I would be remiss not to note the ongoing vote counting and disputes of the current election. This election, and the time leading up to it, has been a most disappointing and detrimental scene of American history. Watching the way our country's citizens have divided themselves has been disgraceful. We are one nation, under God; when will we start appreciating that again?

We were set up with checks and balances by our founding fathers to distribute power and authority among the three branches. So although one man has the privilege of holding the office of the executive branch, this is not a dictatorship role. As such, when will our citizens take a deep breath from the anger and bitterness and stop the attacks? Both sides have ideologies with which they align. But I can't help but wonder if it's the angry citizens on both sides that are taking us down the dark hole, not the actual candidates running for president.

My prayers are for an honest quick resolution of the 2020 presidential election and, moving forward, peaceful discourse. We all lean one way or another, on all topics. But can we move away from the fanatical thinking regardless of the debated topic? Can we sit quietly at a dinner table with friends and — rather than ranting about your viewpoint and shoving it down other's throats — just talk it through, opening our minds to what the other side of the discussion may mean?

I'm not here to make an argument on one side or the other. But there is beauty in the middle, and I'd like to be a catalyst for bringing peaceful, civil discourse to all matters that may come up at my own dinner table and yours.

With gratitude always.

Opinions
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Wiley's 'Judith and Holofernes'

THE ENERGY IN the foyer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Caroline Wiess Law Building is quite lively, thanks to the installation of two provocative paintings, painted 400 years apart — one by Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian 17th-century female artist, the other by Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary, Nigerian-born queer Black artist. Each depicts the grisly climax in the Old Testament Book of Judith, in which the widow Judith decapitates the Assyrian general Holofernes, thus saving her besieged Jewish city of Betulia.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment

LoveShackFancy

READY TO SPEND some Christmas cash and gift cards, or eager to get Rodeo-ready?! Houston boutiques are boot-scooting up for 2023 with new collections, pop-ups and more.

Keep ReadingShow less
Style