This post is a little delayed… but last week we talked about the idea of “horizons” and it got me thinking.  I’ve always heard the phrase “expand your horizons” and after really thinking about the word “horizons,” I have a new way of thinking about this idea.  For me, traveling and interacting with different people helps me expand my own horizons.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to see the world through different perspectives and I think – no, I know – that I am a better person because of those experiences and the new perspectives I’ve gained.  After our discussion on horizons last week, though, I realized that as important as these experiences and newly gained perspectives have been on shaping who I am, what I believe, and how I feel – I really should do more to share those with others.  Someone who has demonstrated this is Hillary Clinton.  In her message, she states that:

“Like so many others, my personal views have been shaped over time by people I have known and loved.  By my experience representing our nation on the world stage…”

This is a great example demonstrating that lots of horizons collectively make up your lifeworld and that over the course of a lifetime those horizons become broadened.  Horizons include understanding, hopes, beliefs, and fears.  I think many people fear what they do not know – including LGBT people.  I think parents who have the hardest time with accepting their children as LGBT have a hard time because they simply do not understand… because they have never had to understand.  I used to think that someone’s sexuality was a personal, private matter and that it was really nobody’s business – because to me, it doesn’t matter… I don’t care what someone’s sexuality is.  While I still don’t think it is anybody’s business but your own, I have come to realize that the more people who do share that part of themselves with others, the more it helps other people expand their horizons.  When celebrities “come out” – it really helps to show that world that they are still the same person and life goes on.  Anyway, I’m rambling, but this is what came to mind when I started thinking about this idea of horizons.  It’s really exciting to me to think that interaction design can help expand people’s horizons – on a number of issues.

“Throughout our history, as our nation has become even more dedicated to the protection of liberty and justice for all, more open to the contributions of all our citizens, it has also become stronger, more competitive, more ready for the future.  It benefits every American when we continue on that path.  I know that many in our country still struggle to reconcile the teachings of their religion, the pull of their conscious, the personal experiences they have in their families and communities.  And people of goodwill and good faith will continue to view this issue differently.

So I hope that as we discuss and debate whether it’s around a kitchen table or in the public square we do so in a spirit of respect and understanding.  Conversations with our friends, our families, our congregations, our coworkers – are opportunities to share our own reflections and to invite others to share theirs.  They give us a chance to find that common ground and a path forward.  For those of us who lived through the long years of the civil rights and women’s rights movements, the speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality of LGBT Americans has been breathtaking and  inspiring.  We see it all around us every day in major cultural statements and in quiet family moments.”