In today’s polarized America, some subjects are best forgotten in polite company to avoid a heated argument.
But virtually no topic is off-limits for the Probus Group, a discussion group of Escondido retirees in their 80s and 90s who’ve tackled Trump policies, gun control, school testing, Confederate monuments, North Korean aggression and atheism.
Next on their list? DACA, the program for children of immigrant parents seeking to stay in the U.S. that President Trump wants to eliminate.
Probus is a resident activity group launched six years ago at the Redwood Terrace retirement community in Escondido. It was inspired by the Probus Club (short for “professional” and “business”), a fellowship group formed in the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s by retired Rotary Club members.
Mick Cupples, chaplain at Redwood Terrace, moderates the meetings, which are held every other Thursday.
While many Probus Group members say they’ve rarely had their opinions changed as a result of the hourlong discussions, most say they’ve been enlightened by the experience.
“I think this is a microcosm of what can happen if people of different persuasions were to sit down together and respect each other, even if they disagree,” Cupples said. “The biggest outcome is learning why people on the other side feel the way they do.”
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