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that the sentence "i have a friend who is x" (ie: gay, muslim, mexican, texan, etc) that people use when attempting to defend a minority group, speaks to what mr. appiah is saying. once we make an emotional connection and "like" a person who we might not otherwise befriend due to prejudice, our feelings are involved and thus our views expanded, prejudices diluted.

that i will bring flowers to my new neighbours on occasion of the birth of their second baby even though they have been very private about it (maybe because they moved only a couple of weeks ago, maybe because of their culture, maybe because of personality traits, or whatever).

that the premise of sidling can be applied to child rearing at different levels:
within the nuclear family, as parents, so many times in the process of raising a child, we become blindly involved/ preoccupied with issues of obedience, academic performance, or our child's future. or we reject a child in both conscious and subconscious ways because their personality is opposite ours or reminds us of someone who made us suffer in our past. in this respect, sidling with children's innate charms and abilities that we enjoy of them and with them may improve the level of empathy we require to be fair to their needs in the here and now.
within a society, ie: school or neighbourhood, it is clear how commiserating on sleepless nights or talking about sports or food, may provide a space to understand and/ or address issues of parenting which may otherwise go misconstrued or vilified.

as always, thanks for inspiration.