Respect our Common Ground
How can I have a conversation with someone without it going sideways? Is it possible to have a strongly different notion, understanding, or experience and still be able to see another side? It is true we are all different; can we also find ways we are similar? I want to be okay with feeling strongly about something and maintain a relationship that is based on respect despite differing beliefs. Today it feels like there is only animosity and hostility for others who hold alternative notions.
Maybe the goal is to simply appreciate similarities. Similarities need not be cultural necessarily but perhaps just human. We all like to laugh, feel included, and be respected. I understand the need for diversity training. Respecting other people’s differences, looking for the strength in the things that set them apart and perhaps even learning to embrace and include those strengths makes sense, but finding similarities is important too.
I will try to find out from others what sets them apart, makes them unique. I want to know why another person believes what he or she believes without being quick to decide if I am for or against it. There is an air of disharmony and acrimony and I find it hard to breathe easy sometimes. I am trying to find a way to be less so. If I read other’s opinions and I try to see the angle that they are looking at things from then perhaps I will choose to move closer to where they stand. How can I have conversations that make this possible as well? Perhaps I should talk far less and keep my questions open ended. I need to keep my ears open and my mind in neutral. I will watch and wait.
What suggestions do you have for a life of peace?