Photo: sirtravelalot (Shutterstock) One of the prevailing themes of the last decade has been the rise of social and political polarization. From the chambers of Congress on through your Thanksgiving dinner tables, it’s increasingly difficult for both sides of the political divide to find common ground, even on seemingly trivial matters. It isn’t just me saying this, either: Academic researchers spend hours trying to find the roots of our fractiousness, prominent writers ask the question in the titles of their books , social media platforms intentionally sequester users into their own filter bubbles , and surveys time and again reinforce just how divided we are . On some level, everyone is guilty of falling into their own partisan camp and savoring the comfort of like-minded peers. But there are benefits to occasionally venturing outside one’s echo chamber to, at the very least, dispel myths, rumors, and misconceptions that might color the ways we perceive others. Curiosity can be endearing I’ll begin by hedging a bit: Sometimes appealing to those with whom you disagree isn’t worth it. For starters, feel free to ignore anyone who denies the reality of the pandemic , or who thinks the 2020 presidential election was rigged due to claims of rampant, unsubstantiated fraud. Anyone you approach needs to at least believe in some semblance of objective reality, though that’s an increasingly big ask in this era of misinformation run amok. But if you find yourself with an opportunity to engage with a friend or family […]