Dealing With Division

Keeping Your Friendships/Family Ties Intact

A difference of opinion, politicians/political parties, immigration, abortion, racism, the royals, religion, gay marriage, gender identities; you name the issue and everyone around you is on a different side. It’s important to stay true to yourself, but the truth is, we need one another. If you began eliminating people in your life because their values or beliefs were different, you’d end up with your principals and many lonely nights. We have to find a way to be with one another despite our convictions and predilections.

What It’s Like These Days

It so often feels as if no matter what you say, you will either offend someone or clash with them on some issue. The last thing I want is to be surrounded by people who always agree with me or vice versa. I am fascinated by what people think and feel. Of course there are red lines. For example, there are people out there today who proudly state their hate against Jews. For me, if you hate an entire population of people and wish them ill, we cannot be friends, family, or acquaintances. That sort of toxicity has no place in my life. These people may have some wonderful qualities, but annihilation, extremism, and hate overshadows all else as far as I’m concerned.

Navigating Differences

I was having dinner with a friend last night and we got into a conversation about marriage — who should be able to marry whom, that sort of discussion. I could tell from the start that she was going to say some things I fundamentally disagreed with. She went on to explain where her values came from; clearly she was taught from a very early age that there are things good christians should do or not do. I asked her if she intellectually believed that what she was taught was right and she emphatically said, “No!” For me, that makes all the difference. I have prejudices that I believe are wrong and unfair, but I know they are wrong and I’m working to change a position(s)/belief(s) that has been embedded in my consciousness for many years. We need to accept our differing beliefs, knowing that the foundation of these beliefs were deeply laid. And that most people are inherently good.

Listening to a different point of view is necessary and helpful. It helps me to formulate an informed, stronger, more absolute opinion or thought. Challenging someone is also good; provided the individual being challenged is open to what you have to say.

Love Conquers All

If that isn’t a load of horseshit, I don’t know what is. In fact, when I love, I expect the best in people. My expectations have always been too high; however, altering or lowering my expectations seems wrong on so many levels. So this is what I do lately: I accept people for who they are, but . . . if their thinking is radical and fundamentally flawed (in my opinion), I put a bit of distance between us and focus more on relationships where the people I spend time with are kind, empathetic, thoughtful, and reasonable.

Love can be tarnished or erased by hate and/or hurtful acts.

I realize some of what I write seems contradictory — human beings are one huge contradiction . . . aren’t we?

If you have found a way to cope with differences that can be divisive, please share your thoughts. Thank you.

I’m not poetically inspired very often these days; certainly not the activist I was in my early 20s. The number of issues which tear us apart concerns me. I find that it’s much too easy to just push away someone who doesn’t think the way you do. Stephen Fry was an outstanding debater and an awe inspiring intellect. If you have some time, check him out on Youtube.

Peace of Mind

When mercury's gone retrograde for what seems like eternity
Voices inside your head keeps interrupting your thoughts
Arguing about who said what to whom on the radio
And planes fly in and out of your personal air space

Breathe the quiet you long for
A moment to survey your power
Learn from tomorrow's mistakes; yes that's right (and left)
Be the child whose innocence kept you in slumber

Technically you're only temporary
You can delete, revise, redraw or backspace
Allow your emotional intelligence to rule your intellect
Eliminate the static before it eliminates you

There is a place they call nirvana
Tickets to and fro are gratis
Try too hard and you'll end up in limbo
Having peace of mind is yours for the asking

________________________________________________________

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ABBA!

By CP

I was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1959. I've lived in several different places, but this is the first time I have resided overseas. My career has gone in multiple directions; however, education is my passion. My Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University has opened many doors and for that I am grateful. Writing has become a pastime I enjoy and hope to further pursue. The future holds no limitations and I am keeping all of my options open. I have landed in Portugal and there is a vast and beautiful world to explore.

2 comments

  1. Many Great thoughts darling. I would hope that I could be open minded with people I disagree with, I find I do live in a bubble of people who’s opinions I agree with and are certainly on the left of the spectrum but, Like you, I will work on being willing to listen and to disagree with out being disagreeable.
    Be well, and happy continuation of the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

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