These days we hear a lot about people living in ‘bubbles.’ In mediation I often encounter parties whose positions are encased in a bubble, reinforced by an interior monologue that strengthens their conviction that they are right and the opposing party is wrong. In time it’s possible to pierce these bubbles and engage in conversations about mutual concerns and interests they share with the other party.
In politics bubbles have taken a more sinister significance. Living just 12 blocks from the U.S. Capitol, I’m sure many think I not only live in a bubble, but in ‘The Swamp’ as well.
If I live in a bubble, don’t an unemployed factory worker in Youngstown, Ohio, or a rancher in Oklahoma live in bubbles as well? One could argue we all live in bubbles.
Bubbles can be perilous places. While they may provide a protective ‘skin’ to keep out opposing, even ‘dangerous’ ideas, and exposure to the ‘other,’ they also prevent us from enlarging our understanding of the world beyond us.