I will not dive into political commentary in this post, while it fuels many conversations this post is not so much about that rather how we come together and having an open mind after. I have seen and felt a great divide over recent months in a way I have not seen in my lifetime, although others have.
My partner and I are always “playing devil’s advocate” in personal and work conversations, we like to argue both sides by trying to understand where the other person is coming from, gain insight into the thought process. I think this is particularly helpful in times like this as it bridges the gap of misunderstanding. I do not agree with many sides that are presented but I can respect their side when thoughtfully presented. My partner on the other hand sometimes goes so far that many are not sure what he actually believes in, quite comical, I think, others not so much at time. He does however, provide a conversation where everyone can be open about their side and have the opportunity to explain it.
After our recent election I have seen both sides close their minds to the other, some even very close to me, this shocked me as I never thought of them in this manner. I have seen individuals attack others for the very thing they are fighting for themselves, they just don’t see it. The evidence of this is everywhere, even on our streets, it is not contained to the media. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be heard, whether you like the message or not, and we as a people hold this right.
I have touched in past posts on family, work, and tough conversations (both sides of them), this close mindedness is not unique to politics. When you want to address something with your teenage child, are you open-minded about their reasoning or have you already made a decision and it doesn’t matter what they say? When you are going to address a discipline issue at with a colleague are you open to their side or have you already made up your mind for your course of action? How about with your spouse when you are arguing, can you see the other side or are you so far down the road that you can’t? I don’t see any of these situations as different from the other.
These are certainly only my thoughts, while I try to live by asking myself those very questions, I know I do not always do so, I make up my mind often before I even hear the other side. A bit idealistic, I am sure you are saying, to think that we can all have an open mind, but you must ask yourself if you actually do. Maybe it is my age that thinks it is so much more prevalent now than it was when I was younger, or maybe, there is just something to the innocence of a child. Maybe you do not want to hear or see the other side, but please remember to be respectful. No matter what you believe in, now, we just need to come together, we are stronger that way.