I belong to an organization of lawyers and judges dedicated to fostering greater professionalism and civility in the practice of law. Tonight was our annual dinner. Our keynote speaker was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Without mentioning him by name, I will say that the mention of his name didn't give me the warm & fuzzies, based upon what I'd read in the press. So I was surprised at how much I liked him. (No, it's not Scalia--let's not get carried away, people! I do have my limits!) :)
I'm a member of the Executive Committee of this group, so I was sure to get to at least say hello to him. I guess I was expecting an empty greeting and about 10 seconds of his time. Instead, we had a very nice, intelligent conversation. We actually spoke a few times. He also gave a great, smart, self-deprecating, funny talk. Finally, it was neat to be sworn in by a US Supreme Court Justice (especially since I'd decided that I liked him by the time that moment came around--I wish my Mom was still around to see it. She would have loved it!).
I'll take a lesson from this. While I still think his political leanings are much more conservative than mine, that doesn't mean he can't still be a smart, thoughtful man and a decent human being. Our political process is so bent on demonizing anyone who disagrees with a political view that it maligns good people. That doesn't do anyone any good!