AuthorSilverglate, Spencer H.
PositionInternational Association of Defense Counsel's mission

We're one but we're not the same We get to carry each other, carry each other-One, U2 In her book, The Space Between Us, Sarah Bauer Anderson quotes a line from the Jewish Talmud: "If the house has fallen, woe to the windows." It's the idea that we're all in it together. That an outbreak of a virus in one corner of the world can impact health across the globe. That one country's actions have repercussions far beyond its borders. That injustice anywhere has implications everywhere.

COVID-19 reminds us of our interconnectivity and dependence on each other's wellbeing. Yet despite the pandemic, we seem as polarized as ever. Politics, religion, and social justice have long been flashpoints for disagreement. But today, everything from masks, testing, and vaccine protocols to business and school closings/openings have become divisive topics. Worse, pandemic-induced isolation and the echo chamber of mono-channel news and social media have crippled our ability to engage civilly. We've quarantined ourselves in sameness.

To be clear, this critique isn't limited to any one group; it applies to all our groups. As Anderson writes, "the muscle used to debate kindly, speak openly, and converse respectfully has atrophied." We've become so single-minded in promoting our views that we've compromised the integrity of the whole.

I'm convinced now more than ever that the only way to narrow the divide between people who don't look alike, don't think alike, and have different lived experiences is through communication. Politics can't unite us. Social media won't draw us together. But sharing our unique stories just might help.

The IADC has been a leader in creating environments for communication, but there's more work to be done. Our association includes members of many tribes, many tongues, many nations--and many viewpoints. We are conservative, we are progressive, and we are everything in between. If you are from the United States, about half the country--and presumably many IADC members--voted for a different candidate than yours in the last presidential election. But it would be a mistake to stereotype IADC members--or anyone--by their political stripes. We live in a world of nuance, not binaries. None of us is a single story.

Of course, IADC members do share much in common: you represent the very best of the Bar and the insurance industry. And the similarities do not end there. As IADC members, you are gentlepersons. You are unfailingly civil. You are the...

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