Are we choosing sides or discussing issues? We have become so wound up and defined by which “side” we support that our minds are becoming closed and we are losing track of the issues. To have an obsession with things we feel are important is part of our basic nature. We are supposed to be passionate about the things we care about.
The causes are important and range from: national politics, to social justice, to world hunger, to race oppression, to spring gardening, to exercise programs, and the newest diet trend. The issues we care about are specific items, and are a microcosm of the cause. A “side”, as in “us versus them”, tends to disallow discussion of the issues.
Being on the front line of an issue is what’s really important. Being so focused and single dimensional on a “side” draws us off balance and away from the issues. If this off kilter stance of “sides” is maintained we wall ourselves off to what is happening around us, we lose focus of the issues and the important part of the discussion.
One of the hardest life lessons for me to learn was that “everyone else’s life” was not all about ME. WhenI focused on the issues which were important to me I discovered I have found allies in some very unexpected places. What surprised me most was that the most important issue to me was not always the most important issue to those around me, and vice versa.
We all live in our own little world. This is not bad, but if we do not take time to absorb and appreciate what is happening around us we are diminished. This is our loss, and our loss alone. The people we exclude usually do not care, and are not hurt by us shoving them away.
How do we find out what is going on around us? First we ask questions. Second we listen to the answers. There is the old saying, “to understand a person we have to walk a mile in their shoes.” Well their shoes will probably not fit, but if we listen we can at least find out how that person feels about the last mile they walked.
The good thing is we are all basically the same. Although each is walking a different path we all share common perspectives. By learning about each other, and what each believes is important we close the gaps between us, and in the process enrich ourselves.
Please start a conversation. Leave a comment or send me an email. I’m interested in what you have to say. And share your journey by adding a comment to our page at www.exploringourspirituality.com/share-your-journey