I have a dear friend, love her to pieces AND we do not agree on anything political or religious. AND we do not avoid the subjects. In fact we tend to jump right in!
We are not angry at one another, we ask a lot of questions and make opposing responses! She is very bright, very articulate and seem to have a lot of facts. I feel on the other hand, I have a lot of experience and feelings about the issues at hand.
I have learned a lot from our discussions and still hold my own. I don’t think we’ve ever changed the others mind nor do we intend to do so. BUT I for one, have learned a great deal about how she has come to her thinking. I can only hope she has done the same thing.
What is so important about our relationship is we have one!! We both want the best for our country and for future generations. SHE is not my enemy nor am I hers. WE do hold opposing views. I see if I had her upbringing and life experience, I might hold her views as well. Funny, she was raised by Democrats, and I was raised by Republicans…. racist ones at that. Perhaps it was a form of rebellion that we became the reverse.
She does have ideas and I have gained insight on issues she has explored. I value our conversations.
Here is the thing: I see in her my younger self! She is an activist, run by her values, she is committed, enthusiastic and largely positive in her attitude. I connect not with the disagreements but the soul and her personality. AND we do talk about issues we agree on. Confronting sex trafficking, porn and other issues that bedevil our culture.
We have a relationship, we ask questions, and we care about one another, families and stories. I wish we could all put our anger and sarcasm to one side. Just listen!!
One of the things I learned during the 2016 election was simply ASK QUESTIONS. We were visiting our niece and her husband in Arizona. He is a very smart professional guy, committed Republican. We began by talking about Climate Change. He did not believe in it, feeling it was nature's natural cycles.
We asked: Do you think the air is polluted? He did. And the oceans? He did. Before long we found commonalities. We also realized the phrase Climate Change was a trigger for him. Mostly used by Democrats.
We both want the best for our country and for future generations. SHE is not my enemy nor am I hers. WE do hold opposing views. I see if I had her upbringing and life experience, I might hold her views as well.
Our news habits were also clear. He got his facts from Fox, and we watched CBS and MSNBC. The media really feeds us according to their own scripts. Each station is handed their commentary very carefully making the other side wrong.In truth… I don’t believe any of us have the real truth. Whatever that is, we do not experience them personally. We argue the media's facts and info with one another.
We might ask one another what and who are we angry at? Hopefully not because we have differing views on what works and what does not.
We know from gardening, that gardens love diversity. Makes for a healthier garden. Another lesson from nature, we tend to overlook its application to our lives.
By Marilyn Rosenbrock Nyborg
Marilyn is the Author of the book: A Women's Guide to Sacred Activism: How Do We Move Forward? More information on Marilyn can be found in our Community pages.