There are a lot of rules and accepted and unaccepted norms to this life. As technology and the ability to see into almost every corner of this pretty Blue Marble one this is certain: Difference becoming more exaggerated, and if we do not apply some of life’s most important lessons, that divide will only continue to grow. So what our these lessons? I am going to present just three here but I am sure there are other ways to look at the disturbing trend to label anything that is not “us”. I acknowledge that there are differences but that does not mean we cannot look for ways to bridge those ideas and traditions and figure out how to get along.
First up is one thing I learned from my parents: Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.Simple advise that was good advice then and back up by science now. I will not get into that part since it is way above my pay grade but our mind is programed to certain biases based on our life experiences. Our tilted preconception of others actions and words are tainted by that biased. I have the same issue as well, no one is immune.
Secondly is this: The need to be right overrides the need to do what is right. This can be overcome in a couple of simple yet difficult ways.First off is to accept the fact there is more than one side to every story. Simple, right? Secondly treat others like you would want to be treated. Why is this so hard? First we are human and secondly some ideas are so foreign to us we find it difficult to ” walk a mile in their shoes”. I have struggled with this in my life and will till the end but the effort is really worth it.
Last up is the concept that silence is consent. I first want to say I get this at a certain level but for example just because I do not talk politics does not mean I am not “speaking”. I read, I research and I seek out those from opposite views than mine.I engage, which means I get very uncomfortable and then I do something crazy: I vote. That is an example of when silence is not consent though I know some will say that actually is speaking but I feel that is not what most people mean.
In closing I confess that I thought long and hard on if I should even write this. Why? There is so much noise out there already. So after the long and hard part of the thinking thing I realized I had talked to so many people: Trump, Bernie, Hillary supporters, LBGT and anti-Gay rights players, Conservatives and Liberals, Gay Conservatives and Gay Liberals 2nd, Amendment defenders and anti-gun supports, and the list goes on, that I felt that I needed to add this to the noise. Not as one who consents but one who believes setting aside our biases and prejudices can lead to understanding and cooperation. We the people do not have to be divided but for it not to be so we need to go to work on making a difference.