Media sources of all shapes and sizes — including this one — are encouraging their readers to be more “empathetic” and “open-minded.” They’re both nice sentiments, generally born out of an honest desire for a kinder, more gracious world, but how can we truly seek to embody these qualities? We’ve devised several questions to assist in the nation-wide search for political shalom.

One of the most interesting ways to better understand a person is by hearing their answer to this question: Who was your favorite character in “The Lion King?” Clearly, how they respond will provide splendiferous insight into who they are as a human being, why they do what they do and other necessary philosophical queries that, if we simply took the time to ask and subsequently listen, would greatly enhance the connections we have with one another, thusly augmenting the holistic quality of our society with ferocious fervor.

Whether they say Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Scar, Zazu or one of the hyenas, you’ll be able to extract several key points of reference you can utilize (in an empathetic manner) when it comes time to ask more serious questions that you may disagree on, such as “what was your reasoning for voting for Donald Trump,” “what do you make of his bizarre relationship with Vladimir Putin,” or “what does the fox say?”

This may seem like a comparatively basic question. There are plenty of other questions that are simple yet elegant, mundane yet insightful etc. Maybe, rather than have them choose from a limited spectrum of fictional characters, you want to discover what animal said person believes is the best manifestation of their personality. (Note: If we were you, this comparison should be restricted to personality. Although it may seem impossible, we have decided, scientifically, that you are able to totally remove considerations of aesthetics in deciding what animal best serves as a “manifestation” of your personality.) (Additional Note: Do not confuse this thoughtful query with its more banal cousin “If you could be one animal, what would you be?” We must do better.)

Two questions may prove to be insufficient. If we are to see the world from our political enemies’ point of view, or the point of view of a small child raised in a fundamentally different society in a region ravaged by war, we need to be able to ask contemplative, personal questions.

For example, you can ask him or her “How would you describe the color ‘blue?’” Admittedly, this is a tricky one. Such a query dives into the somewhat suffocating limitations of language, and how your dialogue partner handles it may offer you unforeseen knowledge as to their motivations, and what they ultimately hold dear. Guard yourself — they may try to avoid the question altogether by answering an imagined question that you didn’t ask. It is quite possible that by the time they’ve finished providing you with this answer to the imagined question, you may be too tired to tell them that they didn’t answer your question — or maybe you’ll have forgotten the details of your original question. No matter. You see, some of the world needs to be asked questions by others of the world. It is the most important.