People are different, that’s a given. It’s those differences that we say “make the world go around”, make life interesting. We seek people to share our lives with who often have the characteristics we don’t find in ourselves.
But have we lost some semblance of civility? Do we have what it takes to disagree without becoming disagreeable? As a person born in the US at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation, I have recently asked some people older than I am when they remember our country being as divided about issues as we seem to be today. Answer: The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights era of the ‘60s. Since I was born in the ‘60s and grew up in the ‘70s, it wasn’t really my experience. This is the first time I can remember when things were so divisive.
Have we lost the ability to debate, to have a meaningful discussion? Can we have discussions and agree to disagree? Can we reach compromise, knowing that everyone has to give up something for the gain of everyone?
Can we communicate and remain polite? Can we do so ensuring that we are actually listening to each other? Can we engage in serious topics making sure that it doesn’t get personal? Can we make our point without accentuating Fear? Can we turn outcomes into a “Win-Win”, not a “Win-Lose”? What’s happening in your workplace? In your families? In your communities?
After all, people are different, always have been, always will be, that’s a given.
"I think being different,
going against the grain of society
is the greatest thing in the world." - Elijah Wood