So, it's that time again when the agricultural shows come to South Lanarkshire, and there the Greens were, in between the livestock and tractors! The aim was threefold: to raise our profile among the farming community, to raise Janet Moxley's profile towards the council elections next May; and most importantly, to chat to local folk and ask them what mattered to them.
As you can imagine, there was a diverse range of interests and concerns: from local planning and bus routes, to fracking and, as always - the lovers and haters of wind turbines! Yes, nothing new in the conversations but we were out there listening - not talking at folk.
The Common Cause assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/common_cause_report.pdf advocates solving 'bigger-than self' problems, such as climate change, through intrinsic values-based communication, highlighting the interconnectedness of social and environmental justice. Only then can we move willingly towards a deeper level of social and environmental committment and address the gross inequalities we find ourselves in.
It's not easy to listen and find the common ground with someone I don't agree with. I have to quell my desire to interrrupt and show them where they're wrong and I'm right, convinced that I can persuade them to see my point of view. But I probably won't, in the same way they won't convince me that they're right and I'm wrong. But, perhaps I can identify a common value, a common concern that we can both agree on, through which I can then introduce the Green philosophy? It's got to be worth a try?