Okay, this is going to seem silly at first, but consider giving it a try.
The idea for this post grew out of a game I was playing with my grandson. We were taking random objects and identifying qualities that were alike and different. Then the conversation moved to people. As we played, I started thinking we were onto something profound. Of course every grandparent thinks that everything they do with a grandchild is profound.
But it got me to thinking about situations and people that seem irreconcilably opposed. Naturally, I’m thinking of the current social and political climate in this country and in the world, but let’s not make this about politics. At least not overtly. Let’s start with something not so emotionally charged, and simplify it to consider what unites us instead of what divides us.
Just like the game with my grandson, start with a few random objects you see around you right now. For example, I’m looking at my computer, my phone, and some paper I’ve written notes on. While the computer and the phone are both more technologically advanced than paper (and they are both smarter than I am), all three have in common that I use them for communication.
Another example – I was in a diverse group of people recently and we were trying to find something we all had in common. It turned out that we all had a Memphis connection.
See how it works? No matter what or who is being grouped, we can always find something in common. And with people, this is the beginning of connection, relationship, understanding, dialogue. It doesn’t always mean we like the other person or agree with them, but finding common ground means that we are no longer completely divided.
Give it a try. Remember to start small, and work your way up to the tough ones. And have fun!