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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cahill

Mark's Reflections on Involvement in a Political Party

What was the best thing about being involved?

I was able to have hours of fascinating conversations with people about topics that my everyday friends were not as interested in. It made me, for a short period, feel like I had a type of tribe in people who enjoyed getting into the same level of detail on subjects that to others were incredibly boring.

What was the biggest challenge?

There would often be intractable disagreement with many other members, and more particularly with the ‘party line’. Although we were all part of the same group, I sometimes questioned how I could associate with some of the opinions of my fellow members (as opposed to questioning how I could associate with the members themselves). I also found it particularly difficult to compromise my own deeply held beliefs with the broad policy of the party that I was a member of on paper.

What was the legacy in your life?

It is rare for people to share consistent and predictable views across a wide range of topics and to agree in all aspects of their outlook. In that sense, I was humbled into not assuming people were wrong for disagreeing with my own view, because getting two or more people to fully agree on anything is almost a fool’s errand. Yet, with respect and the ability to listen, we all have the capacity to tolerate each other and the different viewpoints we hold.


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