Two myths are circulating that well, maybe the reason for much of the anxiety we feel today. One- that to love someone is to agree with them, or two- that if you disagree, you fear or hate them! Both are irrational and noise created in hope for division.
We see this in action when people take to the streets or issue bold onesided editorials through social media. Watch the next protest to observe how this fairytale plays out. Each viewpoint is locked into their agenda with statements and signs indicating a position. Anyone on the other side is the enemy, called names, and unable to understand or comprehend. Neither side cares what the message is from afar; they merely want to object to the people across from them.
In social media, a political post isn’t placed to begin a collaborative dialog; it is sent as a war cry with the same ambitions. When a diverging opinion is given, they too are the enemy, called names, and unable to understand or comprehend.
I recently read that Susan Rice, a strong consideration as the Vice Presidential candidate on the democrat ticket, has a President Trump-supporting, son John David Rice-Cameron. He may be the most vocal conservative leader on the Stanford campus. He is determined to “Make Stanford Great Again.” Imagine with me that they well could be found standing on opposite sides of a protest or post.
Yet, while they disagree on most of their political views, they love and respect each other. There isn’t the name-calling, they don’t see each other as an enemy, nor do they believe the other is unable to understand or comprehend. Through their discussions, they know without question, their common bond is a love of our country and that America is the greatest nation in the world. Love and respect aren’t determined through their common views.
When we look at history, we see our successes have come from a diversity of opinions: the greater the variety of view, the more robust the outcome. One size doesn’t fit all. Respectful disagreements foster win-win solutions. No wonder President Lincoln is so revered, he put together a team of rivals.
We need to learn from our rich history and begin to take steps that will allow us to continue making strides once taken, ensuring a better world for everyone.