In the current state of world affairs, it is becoming more and more difficult to find common ground with our fellow humans.
We disagree with each other on so very many topics now, its as though we are all isolating in our views of the world as we know it; each in our own little bubble viewing it from a slightly different angle to the next person.
Often we find the people who do share some of our views, are not in our close family or friendship circles.
So do we keep trying to press our views on someone we love, because somehow we think if they suddenly agree, we are saving them from something? Or is it because our own ego cannot allow our opinion to go unheard as the only voice of reason, in our perception of the world.
A persons view’s are made up of a sequence of events that has led them to that view. The events are usually attached to an emotional anchor, very often to someone we love. For example if a close family member has a chronic medical condition and has had to rely on the medical profession to support their life, they will naturally and rightly feel that the medical profession is deserving of lifelong gratitude, and will defend them to the hilt. However if another person has had a negative experience with the medical profession – perhaps a loved one has been injured in some way through medication, or treatment – then this person will naturally feel just as vehemently against the profession, and have their faith in another approach, which for them is the cause they will defend.
This is but one example, but the point is the same for any dispute. If the person’s point of view is driven by their own experience based on an emotional attachment, then they will never agree, or maybe even never able to see that you are as justified in your feelings as they are in theirs.
We come across this type of scenario all the time on social media threads, and sometimes they are very heated debates, you can feel the heat rising in the threads very quickly. People comment on things that touch a nerve, or pull on a heartstring – things that they connect to emotionally. Add a varied amount of ego’s into that mix and very soon there is just a barrage of abusive comments to read. Not interesting or enlightening in any way.
I personally love a good debate. I am a passionate person and I enjoy sharing information with people. As a writer, it comes naturally to me to want to share the ramblings of my heart – a gift on the whole, but sometimes a curse too. I have to keep reminding myself that we are all justified in what we feel, because the roots of the reason run very deeply within all of us, and we can never know what life looks like through someone else’s window. And while we may enjoy the challenge of a good healthy debate with other passionate souls on social media, we have no emotional attachment to the highlighted name in the comment, or the tiny profile image. And yet it may pay us to remember that there is a real person with real feelings who believes in what they are saying as much as do, so we must always try to speak with respect and kindness, because everyone deserves to feel heard, even when we don’t agree.
Social media should be a place for healthy debates; when we debate respectfully, we can learn from each other if we allow our egos to take a rest and be quiet for a while. And maybe we can talk to others in a way that provokes a reflective rather than a reactive response, and then practise a little self-reflection before we respond to them.
However a new golden rule for me, is to avoid debates on social media with any of my close friends or close family.
We don’t get to choose our family, and yet we are bonded to them by so much more than blood. In this current crisis we are starkly reminded of just how dear our families really are to us. If we are apart from our loved ones, just the not knowing when you may see them again or if you fear the health of a loved one with a weakened immunity is enough to make you appreciate them more and lifelong friends that have gone through thick and thin with us, suddenly come closer together despite the physical distancing. These people are the mainstays of our lives and although we may not see eye to eye, you know that when others will naturally help their own first, its your network of family and close friends that are the ones who will come to help you. You maybe very different in the way you think and feel about the world but the love that binds you is so much more than your belief systems and views.
So lets put down our swords, and drop our shields. This battle is not to be fought between those we love or have real connection with. Our feelings are equally as important as each other’s. Lets set our opinions down with our swords and bury our conflicts.
We are here on this beautiful planet to learn and to grow; not to fight and divide. Lets learn from each other, and when we cannot lets agree to a truce, and raise our (socially distant) glasses together for a better world for us all – because ultimately that’s all each and every one of truly wants.
I wish you good health, calm and clarity and most of all LOVE ❤