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Dear Kyle,

You are probably being contacted and courted by uncountable groups, media, causes, and more. I’m sorry to be part of an unimaginable deluge. The reason that I’m reaching out now is that I might be one of the few that come without praise or judgement, nor do I want you to join a “side.”

You will, of course, have to decide whether to be a public figure, or to live privately, and the latter might have a strong appeal for you, at the moment. However, if you do decide to be a public person, I think that you have an immense opportunity to help.

Here’s how:

People are listening to you and will hear your message: people will be asking you to take a side, back a party, rally for a given cause. Now is not the time for these things. Your country would be better served if your message was an appeal for human fraternity and, perhaps most importantly, for people to reach out and build relationships with others who think differently.

People bemoan polarization in the US and around the world, but I don’t think that polarization is the real problem. It’s fine for people to think differently, or very differently; it’s not fine for people to lose or abandon the ability to play deftly with different ideas and perspectives. What matters isn’t the distance between the poles, but whether the poles can interact properly.

Many people are expecting and hoping for you to become an ideologue, a man of one book, one who follows the line. Those who benefit from and enjoy an audience captive by worldview are hoping that this is what happens.

I like to avoid appealing to sides and groups, but for the sake of brevity: some people are saying, “Join us;” others are waiting for that to happen so they can say, “I told you so.”

If nothing else, I’d strongly counsel against seeking the approval of groups, especially sides. It’s possible for a crowd to seek truth, but it’s also easier for a crowd to mix truth and consensus. The latter lacks the value of truth but still delivers the feeling of moral righteousness.

As such, I’ll leave you with some words from the Tao Te Ching:

The space between heaven and earth is like the bellows, it appears empty yet it gives a supply that never fails;

The more it moves, the more it brings forth.

Many words lead to exhaustion.

It is better to center on the true essence within.

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