Media, social platforms, leaders speeches; the messaging has become loaded with fear and division. We are fed opposing sides to every issue and pressured to choose our side.
Pull any topic from the headlines in the past ten years and slot yourself into your respective side – then search – because whatever you believe you will find support and like-minded evidence. And if you find someone who thinks differently – quickly inform them they are wrong, tell them you have proof to back you, and if that doesn’t work, call them names. It’s gotten out of control.
I constantly pull myself back into my training and education in conflict resolution.
This work resonated with me when I realized: we are all fighting for the same things.
When people walk in to resolve a conflict, they only see the ways they are opposed. They don’t believe they can come to agreement because they want opposite things.
But when we start to get past the surface issue- you want green, they want blue – there is something deeper. Our motivation. What is driving us? Why do we want what we want?
At this deeper level – we see everyone basically wants the same things – love, acceptance, security, safety, fairness, freedom, acknowledgement….(the list goes on).
When we only look at the issues on the surface, we can divide ourselves accordingly, but we can’t accomplish anything. There will be a winner and a loser, or two losers.
When we look deeper and see we all want the same kinds of things — that’s where the magic happens. We start to see the human, the same desires and even if the path looks different, we are all trying to get to the same place.
I encourage you to look deeper than the surface. Whatever you want – I guarantee others want that too, even if they think the way to get it is different than yours.
Expand your perspective, reach for empathy, see others on a human level as opposed to the ‘issue’ of the moment and watch how much we can accomplish when we see we are all the same.
In a world focused on division – I encourage you to seek unity.