Politics

We’ll leave it to the history books of the future to decide whether the events in Charlottesville, VA in August of 2017 were a clear demarcation of events, indicating the start of a dangerous civil unrest. For the first time, clashes between rioters from the extreme left and those from the extreme right ended in a tragic loss of life. Regardless of protesters’ political views, lethal violence should never be the answer, but somehow when dealing with politics, it is.

Yet in the free market, fans of products don’t come to blows. Have you ever seen a frequent diner at Panera come up to a Subway aficionado and give them a knuckle sandwich? Has a Ford guy ever made it clear to a Chevy guy he is cruising for a bruising? When did a lover of Ella Fitzgerald’s music and an admirer of John Coltrane duke it out over who’s better? GE and Philips employees don’t punch each others’ lights out, nor do Colgate and Crest users come at each other armed to the teeth, and I can’t recall when an iRobot and a Dyson owner ever had a dust up.
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Communication Skills

If there is one thing that I’m willing to bet on, it’s that there are topics within the pages of Books of Liberty for which you are very passionate. And wouldn’t it be great if you could convince just a few more people to see things the way you do on these subjects? If there is one tool in your tool-belt that you need in order to achieve this aim, it’s improved communication skills.

With techniques such as nonviolent communication, or NVC (for which we have many books and study guides), or other means of empathic connection you can reach a meeting of the minds on almost anything. In addition to convincing an “opponent” in a debate, this may significantly improve interpersonal relations, parenting, help with conflict resolution and is an important social skill to have.

In fact, good communication skills of this sort are so vital, they affect everything from a chat at the water cooler, to negotiating a hostage crisis (because you never know when you might find yourself in that situation).

In order to strengthen your arguments, you will utilize critical thinking and problem solving techniques to help frame your ideas, apply logic consistently and remove cognitive biases, and you will learn to identify others’ use of logical fallacies or fear and manipulation.

Then, with the power of empathic connection you will use your rhetoric to its full potential, whether through writing, debating, negotiation, public speaking or other forms of communication.

Now you just have to promise to use your superior communication skills for good and not for evil… And as always, thank you for reading!