Gray-wolf-howling-at-moon I love David Brooks.

Not because I always agree with him.

Rather because he's always thoughtful and articulate. Sometimes, he's a wee too conservative for me. But he's always as smart as he is conservative. And that's all I ask.

I believe that a great sadness of our times — and a great self-limiting factor for our future — is that we only want to hear from those with whom we agree. As major news organizations cut back to nothing, we increasingly have our own daily dose of news from the Interwebs, culled only from the sources we choose.

Ask Not For Whom The Media Toils.
Do you get all worked up when you hear from someone on the other side of the spectrum?

Do you really think you are so right that you don't ever want to hear — and I mean really hear, calmly, quietly — the other side?

Can you sit and engage — again, truly engage, with a smile, leaning in, arms uncrossed — with people who support the party against which you vote?

Can you imagine that the other side has good intentions, if somewhat flawed implementation? Can you find the good the Other has done?

Or do you get breathless? Dig in your heels? Damn the opposition as evil, barking at their failings?

Do you enjoy the opportunity to learn during dinner with those who disagree with you — or does that always end up with you howling at the moon?

Do you think it is your mission to change the other person's wrong-headed mind?

Or can you appreciate that there is some logic and heart in the opposing decision?

And there might be — perchance — egad — some failing in your own position?

What News Do You Choose?
So here we are.

You get to choose.

I think it's healthy to talk with people from all sides.

Is this the making of a new year's resolution? To live 2010 with an increasingly open mind? To enter the new year with a willingness to consider how the Other might be right and You might be (just sometimes) wrong?

Here's Brooks today. He has brought me to my senses on the Christmas Day airline security failure. 

Read Brooks to learn, rather than to confirm your own pre-existing opinions.

It's healthier that way in the long run.