This July 4th, have a conversation with someone you disagree with

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The mythology of origins is a hallmark of every nation. Whether it was two brothers raised by a wolf or the founding fathers, a nation’s sense of itself is based on a shared story of its birth.

Consider the Fourth of July, a moment when we celebrate and retell our story. Buried within our expectations of fireworks, hotdogs and picnics, we are encouraged to take a moment to look back at our nation’s establishment.

We speak about freedom, democracy and liberty. Core values derived from our nation’s creation, the words have a talismanic nature; we feel them deeply. The words resonate and define us as a group.

Yet, across the United States of America, as we recite and recall these founding concepts, we don’t all see them the same way. We share the story of the founding fathers — yet over the generations, our national identity has apparently frayed.

Our current political discourse about freedom and rights is illustrative. Whether discussing business, religion, guns, or heath care, our national conversation eventually leads to fundamental disagreement.

Often, the differing views stem from…

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