I appreciate it's uncomfortable to contemplate the issues I raise.
Know thyself ("Gnothi se auton") were the words inscribed over the entrance of the Oracle's temple at Delphi. The trouble with listening is that you might learn things about yourself that you don't like and, even more worrying, that this knowledge might change you.
As you begin to listen you are forced to conclude that other people's views are not only the products of different beliefs, but are also just as passionately held as yours. As you begin to reflect on the limiting assumptions in their background, you are forced to ponder the limiting assumptions in yours. This creates a problem: should you fight for your convictions or embrace theirs? Would seeking peace be selling out? Eventually you may even find that you are both small parts in a much broader system, and that your differences in views depend on each other. Truth may not reside in your dogmatism or their skepticism, or vice versa, but in the tension between the two. You both need the other's perspective.
And that is why I welcome comments on my blog, especially the frank expression of views that differ from mine. And why I value the dialogue that is emerging on the Rio.
On a somewhat lighter note, I have my first baby tomato! Bob's is still bigger than mine but we share a concern that pollination is not happening at a good enough rate... so if you see us creeping around with paintbrushes in hand we are just giving Mother Nature a bit of help. I am also playing romantic piano concerto's to Tommy and having meaningful chats at sunset every evening! Still if that one baby tomato ends up weighing 1.5lbs I won't be too disappointed.