DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — Civil discourse is something you don’t see a lot of in 2020, and a Dallas-area coffee shop is hoping to change that one cup at a time.
On a drizzly, gray day the Pax and Beneficia coffee shop is the very place you’d hope to warm yourself.
“Pax and beneficia means peace and blessings,” said co-owner Mouyyad Abdulhadi.
The four shop walls—and the frothy elixirs brewed inside them — a longtime dream come true for Abdulhadi — a Palestinian American whose family came from Kuwait in search of greater freedoms.
“Coffee shops, historically, since the first ones in the Middle East have been a respite for constructive conversation and constructive discourse,” said Abdulhadi.
He says a 2020 America is deprived of constructive discussions. So with his business, he now makes this offering for customers to not only use it for their caffeinated pick-me-up but also a safe space for opposing opinions.
“Whether it’s religion, economy, politics,” he listed off.
If you bring someone in to talk something out — it’s a free coffee on the house.
Customer Tim Urban is all in.
“To me, it’s one of the biggest things that’s missing right now in our societies, our communities, even our friendships,” said Urban. “The ability to have just have conversations on things you disagree on.”
He also just so happens to be the co-host of the “Same Blood Podcast,” aimed at normalizing disagreements. Urban says too many people fear the friction.
“What ends up happening is you find your echo-chambers, you go live inside of those and people go and get more entrenched in their ideas. It’s a problem,” said Urban.
The “Coffee and Discourse” deal is only a few days old, but Urban says he already has a few people in mind he’d like to invite. He says successfully navigating those typically uncomfortable discussions starts with respect.
“You don’t just start by chucking a grenade into the conversation, because you don’t have any equity built up,” said Urban. “I think you have to have that equity, that mutual understanding and that value.”
So come on in, pick your perk, take a seat, and take a stance.
Abdulhadi says folks will usually find they’re more aligned than they imagined.
“The answer is always somewhere in the middle,” said Abdulhadi. “It’s not left or right, or this way or that way. Usually, the right approach is somewhere in the middle. That’s something I’ve learned through my faith, and I hope others share that, as well.”