Do you call soft drinks soda? Pop? Coke? All different names to mean the same things but if you didn’t have a can right in front of you, you might not realize that you all had a commonality. Often times we focus on the differences in our words that even consider what we share and while that is a small example, we are finding more and more need to look for common ground, to listen and to hear than to shut down and divide.
Today our intent is to explore a different perspective. We want to stop seeing others and their differing opinions as wrong first, and instead consider how their actions are motivated. We want to be open and teachable. We want to be bridge builders instead of wall builders. We invite you to be the same. Here are 3 things to help you with your intent:
- This interesting review of multiple perspectives and the idea of being right at the same time.
Language plays so much of a part in our interactions, allowing people to feel understood or pointing out their differences. Does it mean that someone is wrong? Not necessarily. It means that they have been shaped by experience and circumstances different than our own. While that can feel frustrating, we can choose to see it as a starting place for a different perspective. We loved this article that highlights how language differences don’t have to mean that anyone is wrong.
- These tips for creating a space for diverse humans to find common ground.
When everyone is afraid, it creates a lot of opportunity to focus on what separates us. Teachers are working to instead create space for these differences to intersect in a positive way, allowing for the experience to broaden one another. Looking to do the same in your classroom or work environment? Here are tips to help!
- These words on the importance of finding common ground for the sake of you, your neighbors and even those you don’t consider neighbors.
The importance of finding common ground is not limited to one arena of life. Starting to see others as potential allies instead of as enemies is a way of seeing people that will never stop being necessary. Allow a different perspective to make you stronger.
Patriotism is love of country. But you can’t love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen. We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good.
No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground.
I think in most relationships that have problems, there’s fault on both sides. And in order for it to work, there has to be some common ground that’s shared. And it’s not just one person making amends.