Respect the differences

July 28, 2018

I am more politically conservative than most people in San Francisco. That's not saying much in a town with a $15/hr minimum wage. But it's had two pretty noticeable effects on my life.

First, I have many good friends with whom I have wide-ranging disagreements; guys like heph, Robson, Mike, Tibor, and my old debate coach/mentor Josh Brown. Living in an echo chamber is easy; it doesn't challenge you. Getting to know people different than you curbs your excesses, keeps you sharp, and makes it harder to lie to yourself. It's easy to like people similar to you; it speaks volumes about those guys, that they're willing to put up with me, even though I can be an insufferable, pontificating blowhard.

Second, I can now officially state that I've been a minority. That's admittedly not something I'm used to, as a well-educated white guy who's far from poor. But it's pretty harrowing being in a room where you're one errant comment from triggering someone. It makes you wonder, what else makes people feel this way, and reminds me to treat people—everyone—with basic dignity, and respect.

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