In my (albeit short) lifetime I’ve never seen the U.S. so divided. It’s not just a split between two parties; it’s egocentrism for many people on differing sides. It’s a complete disregard for the thought processes, values, and everyday realities of others. It’s the absolute refusal to admit that you may be wrong in your conclusions, or that someone else may be equally right in a different way. I’m seeing people threaten each other, put people down, and “unfriend” people because they’re voting for someone with different convictions.
I’ll be the first to admit it’s frustrating to hear rhetoric I disagree with, read news stories that are clearly spun (at least in my opinion), and not judge people who seem to lack basic critical thinking skills. But it’s equally important to try to understand where people are getting their information, why they think the way they do, and look for their heart and soul in it all.
What I’ve found is that the majority of people on any side want similar things; they just have very different ideas on how to accomplish them. I don’t think we need to be so divided.
Everyone thinks they’re right. But obviously it’s impossible for everyone to actually be right. Odds are, you’re probably wrong about at least one voting point. I suspect I am. I think leaving room for the possibility of error even in our own thought process is key to uniting as Americans and people. I know this is a very “threatening” opinion to people who feel so passionately about issues in this election, whose livelihood and freedom seem directly left in the hands of the winning candidate.
I completely support voting for what’s best for YOU and YOUR values, but try to understand other people are doing the same. (My favorite example of this is how many of my Christian friends and family members are praying for opposite candidates to win the election. Both have extremely “Christian” and “biblical” convictions to support their personal choice, and yet overall it seems to be split.)
The golden rule is “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Don’t you want people to hear you, consider your perspective, and respect you even if they disagree? Don’t you wish more people would admit that maybe their ideas won’t be as beneficial to society as they imagine? I believe we have to first practice that ourselves.
At the end of the day, I’m choosing to love people by respecting their values and understanding that what’s most important to me isn’t always as important to everyone else. Certain policies which negatively affect me may benefit someone else, and vice versa. Maybe I’m wrong about the effects of the very policies I firmly support and oppose.
We will never all unite on policy, but we can unite as humans. I’m trying as hard as I can to understand where others are coming from and to maintain a loving perspective. After all, isn’t love what life is all about?
So here’s my attempt at accepting my propensity for error. Here’s my commitment to search for the perspectives of people I don’t agree with so I can truly hear them—not try to convert them. I encourage y’all to try it too. I’m pretty sure I’m right about this, but—hey—I could be wrong. 🙂