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Shannon Casas: Sometimes we simply don't have all the answers
Shannon Casas
Shannon Casas
I’ve been spending a lot of time with some children who have a lot of questions. One follows every statement with why. “We’re going to school. Why?” “ We’re eating chicken. Why?”

The other asks things like “Where was I before I was in my mommy’s tummy?” And “When was outer space made?”

Sometimes I have some answers. More and more frequently, though, the answer is “I don’t know.”

I like having answers, and of course my answers are the right ones.

But I’m learning to be more comfortable with “I don’t know.”

Sometimes I have a pretty good idea what I believe based on research and experience, but when it comes down to it, I don’t actually know.

Approaching big topics from a standpoint of not having all the answers, doesn’t seem to be en vogue, though. Everyone on social media has the answers before listening to anyone else.

We need to build a wall. We don’t need to build a wall.

That kid wearing the MAGA hat started it. The Native American started it.

It’s easy to fly off with opinions after consuming just a crumb of information, as clearly evidenced by the incident Jan. 18 at the Lincoln Memorial.

What will actually solve our immigration crisis? What will effectively address voices of hate?

We may get closer to answering these questions if we start from a place that admits we don’t have all the answers.

In other words, we have a conversation instead of continuing to yell over each other. We ask what led the other person to those beliefs and both commit to consider the other point of view. We look for information in a variety of credible sources rather than the echo chamber of social media.

When we interact on social media, we click on the link and read, watch or listen before jumping to conclusions and sharing our thoughts about a headline that will always be too short to adequately reflect all the context and sides of a story.

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir here. You’re reading a local newspaper, which obviously makes you smarter than the rest, and if you’ve made it this far, you’ve gotten a lot more than just the headline.

Or are you reading just the headlines you like on the Opinion page and skipping the columns from the other side?

In our world of political extremes, it seems the the wall we’ve built is between each other.

We don’t listen to each other. Why?

Shannon Casas is editor in chief of The Times. Her column publishes on Sundays.