The election is over…
and the words of hate and distrust are still out there on the net and in the hearts of many. From comments on Facebook to angered conversations, our division as a nation feels like an uncrossable chasm.
I wish I had a magic wand to wave and make it all better. If I did, this is what my wand would do:
♥ It would soften the hearts and minds of those who believe their way is the one right way.
♥ As our minds and hearts soften, we would see that cooperation and collaboration is the only way toward a prosperous future. Each of us has a perspective worth listening to and considering. Each of us would need to step beyond the boundaries of our own life experience and equalize the power dynamic (I Know, You Don’t).
♥ We would open to a beginner’s mind and with deep listening, we would begin to create together ways to solve the most serious problems we face today. A beginner’s mind is open to all perceivable answers with no preconceived conclusions.
♥ When we don’t agree, we would sit together until we find a way through.
This is not fairy talk. We have examples among us of people who have been deeply opposed to one another and have stayed together until they have found a way through. I remember a story of five Columbia River tribes who were given the responsibility of deciding where to re-bury the remains of ancestors who had been repatriated. Each tribe claimed the right to rebury the remains on their land. They argued forcefully; and they didn’t leave the circle until they came to a consensus. It took many, many months, but they came to a decision that addressed interests of the ancestors and each tribe.
I don’t have a magic wand. I only know of a slow, conscious way through this national division, and it begins with you and me right here at home.
I can make the biggest difference by shifting the environment around me to one of collaboration, cooperation, and acceptance. This impacts everyone who comes into my field.
I begin this way:
♥ Is there anyone in my life with whom I have hardened my heart and mind?
♥ I become more consciously aware. What are my values, beliefs, and experiences that are the background to this hardening of my heart and mind toward this other?
♥ If all people are simply trying to do their best at all times, what might be the perspective of this other? Where is he/she coming from? Can I step into his/her shoes for a moment?
♥ When I do, I create a space of connection and compassion with the other. I don’t have to agree with the other; I am only asked to see how he/she has a valid perspective without judgment of who is right or wrong.
I have now broadened my perspective. I have lessened the divide and changed the environment in which we come together. I can speak my truth with passion, and I have an open mind as I listen to the other. I watch the other begin to relax, become less defensive. We move into a field of collaboration, cooperation, and acceptance of our differences. Together we will discover how to cross the chasm between us.
Every time I open to another to collaborate, cooperate, and accept his/her differences for the best long-term outcome possible, I have made an impact. These impacts add up and as each of us opens to the other, the divide between us as a nation lessens.