Of Note: So Much Depends Upon

Submitted By:
Elizabeth Morley, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Lab School, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Mónica Guzmán's latest book is unashamedly and fearlessly personal. It is also socially responsible, widely relevant, and a glimpse of what is possible when listening takes the place of dismissing people and positions where the ideological gap is too wide and the distance too far to see each other. Presenting authentic experiences, interviews, and data, Guzmán builds the case for using available tools of the mind that are within reach, and that almost anyone could offer in divided times and circumstances. Guzmán's three main ideas are not the usual how-to list. She begins with a colorful tribute to curiosity, which she sees as the crucial difference in perspective between those who are seeking more insight and those seeking to change minds. More understanding – the building block most often missing in shaky structures of respect across differences – is a vital first engagement. She then asks us to keep a question always front of mind: "What am I missing?" And next, she pushes us to cultivate the willingness to use the words that give the book its title: "I never thought of it that way. "Simple they are not, but much could depend on these two short sentences, used anywhere discord is working its costly unravelling of listening.

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