megan phelps roper
intro’d to Megan via Myle‘s fb share of her ted nyc feb 2017
we’ve broken the world into us and them..no nuance/complexity/humanity..
even when someone does call for empathy/understanding..convo nearly always devolves into debate about who deserves more empathy. .
i remember this path..it will not take us where we want to go..that isn’t who we want to be..
1\ don’t assume bad intent…
we forget that they’re a human being w/lifetime of experience that shaped their mind..we get stuck on that first wave of anger..when we assume good/neutral intent..give our minds a much stronger framework for dialogue
2\ ask questions. ..signals to someone they’re being heard..when friends on twitter stopped accusing and started asking questions..i almost automatically mirrored them..their questions gave me room to speak..but also gave me permission to ask them questions and to truly hear their responses..fundamentally changed dynamic of our convo
3\ stay calm.. dialing up the volume and the snark is natural in stressful situations..but it tends to bring convo to an unsatisfactory/explosive end. ..people often lament that digital communication makes us less civil..but this is one advantage that online convos have..buffer time/space ..we can pause/breathe..and then come back to it when we’re ready
4\ make the argument. .if someone doesn’t get it..their problem..but if that simple..we would all see things the same way.. harder for me to see world in diff way..can’t expect others to spontaneously change minds..have to make the case
..friends on twitter didn’t abandon their beliefs/principles..only their scorn..channeled their infinitely justifiable offense and came to me w/pointed questions tempered w/kindness/humor..approached me as a human being..more transformative than two full decades of outrage/disdain/violence..escalating disgust and intractable conflict are not what we want for ourselves/country/next-gen
..end of this spiral of rage/blame begins w/one person who
refuses to indulge these destructive/seductive impulses..
we just have to decide it’s going to start w/us
Megan Phelps-Roper is a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Formerly a prominent member of the church, she left the church with her sister Grace in November 2012. Her mother is Shirley Phelps-Roper, whose father was the church’s founder Fred Phelps. Phelps-Roper has stated that all of her family member still in the church have cut ties with her. She has ascribed her disenchantment with the church’s doctrines to interaction with other people on Twitter. In February 2017 she presented a TED talk discussing her experiences being brought up within the WBC and her journey towards the decision to leave. Phelps-Roper was married on August 15, 2016