I’ve felt the shift for awhile now. You vs. me. Us vs. them. It’s been a shift that splits families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.
I read Brene Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness” and finally someone put it together. Us vs. them keeps the world in black and white. Us vs. them puts me against you. Us vs. them isn’t ever that simple. And it shouldn’t be.
See, the arguments that are being made on a political, religious, life level are more detailed, more intricate, more compassionate than the us vs. them mentality will ever allow. There is much more #beauty to behold when we see the world not as black and white but as the colors that fill in the gaps.
So let’s shift back. It sounds easy enough, right? But it starts by a really hard task – seeing “them” and loving “them.” Getting them to see “us” and loving “us.” Healing starts when we see each other, accept our differences, and find a middle ground.
I had one of those (not) amazing Facebook conversations recently that I’m not proud of. It was about politics. I tried to call someone out. But in the midst of my preparing for the next argument, I remembered that we are both human. And we each have a story. And that story needs to be respected. So I stopped. She tried (I’d like to think half-heartedly to get me to reengage) and I didn’t. I think that’s what it takes. We can agree to disagree up until a point; when our “agreeing to disagree” causes one or both of us to lose respect, love, or compassion for the other, we’ve crossed the line. And it’s necessary to cross back. It’s not just necessary, but it’s a requirement. We all need to heal. If we are to move forward, it’s because we’re moving forward together and not leaving another in the ditch.
Shift back. It’s going to be hard. But the reward – actually connecting with and honoring people – is worth it. I’m willing to shift back. Who’s in?