"I can't believe he said that!"
We live in a time where people don't tolerate opposing thoughts.
We've been conditioned by the media and our short form communication style via the internet.
We read a sentence or a headline, form an immediate opinion about something or someone and keep moving without a second thought.
I am quickly offended or I think you are an idiot - simply because we disagree.
(Disclaimer: Some people are in fact idiots, that's just the game we play).
The reality is that we all started out a blank slate and everything that we think we know or believe has been picked up along the way.
Maybe some of our demeanor and predisposition was given to us at birth - the verdict is still out - but what we know to be fact has been taught to us through experience and influence.
So before I assume you're a dumb fuck, it would do us all a favor if I gave it some additional thought.
Why do you think that way?
What's your experience?
How has this shaped your perspective?
What experiences and information are you basing your feelings on?
Where is our common ground?
How do we get beyond judgement and name calling?
How do we have real conversations that uncover real solutions forward?
Empathy and understanding won't necessarily lead to agreement.
It doesn't have to - that's not the point of conversation.
But it will lead to tolerance.
It will grow your perspective.
We all need that.
Focus & Fortitude