I woke this morning with the song Why Does It Have To Be from Restless Heart running through my head. The song has nothing to do with what I was thinking about, but that's the magic of music, isn't it! It can mean something different for different people or it can hold a different meaning for you depending on what you're going through.
So for this, the third in a series of breaking habits to be better, we will be taking the lyrics completely out of context.
Part of the lyrics say, "Why does it have to be one way or the other? Why does it have to be black or white? Why do you have to hurt one to love another? Won't somebody please, please tell me?" Now, I know the song is referring to loving the one you are with, and someone else in a romantic sense, but that is not at all what we are talking about here.
I have observed more and more disdain, more and more anger, and hatred, and less and less tolerance, and joy and basic acceptance in the humans I come in contact with both in person and in social media.
It has been my observation, lately, that everyone is choosing sides and it is not creating a more joyful world. In fact, I believe it is creating more and more ridicule, disrespect, division, and, dare I say it, hatred.
When I woke with this on my brain today, I immediately thought of all of the division the world is going through, in every sense today. I thought if there is a habit we need to break and replace with a better one, it is this. This deserves some Upliftuniverse attention.
We can't agree on racism. Lord knows we can't agree on politics. We can't even agree on things when it's life and death matters in our own country. It doesn't have to be huge like gun control, racism, abortion, vaccines, immigration, or the pandemic. Recently I saw a post on social media where someone was trying to sell a vehicle and an argument broke in the comments about whether the vehicle was worth what the person was asking. Everything is controversial and up for debate.
Suddenly we can't just hear or see a comment or someone's opinion and respect it. We must choose a side. Remember the good old days when we could agree to disagree. Now that statement is even a jab. It used to be a friendly phrase and now it's like the end of the conversation. "Well, I guess we will have to agree to disagree" has become "you're wrong and I am right and now I am done talking to you."
We are all combative. It's like we are all in military combat and we never disengage. If we don't agree, then you are the enemy and I will stand my ground to the bitter end. And we are getting more and more bitter all of the time.
What happened to the times when we would meet someone and try to see what we have in common? What happened to the days we could have a conversation with someone and respect a different point of view and try to learn from it? Where did the days go when your goal was to get along with each other, like each other and maybe even become friends? Are you talking to people or reading each other's posts to fight back, rather than look for a reason to be tolerant, kind, learn, make a new friend or strengthen an existing friendship?
Sudden'y we are black or white, red or blue, democrat or republican, right or wrong.
There is so much more to it than that.
Stand down soldier. Our tactics need to change. If we are going to be the change we wish to see in the world, we can't be constantly in battle. Not everything is a fight.
The challenge we should be working hard at is how do we all get along, find common ground, help our fellow man, work toward common goals?
Aruba is called the happy island? Do you know why?You would think it was the weather or the food or the adventures. Nope, it's not because it's beautiful and has incredible weather year round. Not because of the cool, white-sand beaches or year round sunshine. No it's called One Happy Island because there are at least twelve different religions, at least ten different ethnic back grounds, they speak at least four different languages on an island that would fit in Rhode Island fifteen times and they have found a way to all just get along peacefully.
We can't even be kind to each other on social media with the people we have chosen as friends. So here is my challenge to you. The next time you see something you disagree with, try to learn something or, at least keep scrolling. The next time you hear something you disagree with, try to understand where the other person is coming from. I mean really try to figure out why they feel the way they feel, or walk away.
Everyone has a different perspective. I was once in a canoe and it looked like we were going to go over this enormous waterfall and I was scared, but as we got closer I realized it was actually just a nice little rapids and it was so fun I wanted to do it again. I once listened to someone I didn't like describe their childhood and suddenly some of their viewpoints were understandable. I once worked with a person I thought was very angry and mean, but after I showed her how much we had in common, she was actually nice to me.
Stop judging and start listening. Stop digging in and start opening up. Stop attacking and start learning. If you can't do that, it's always okay to scroll on by, walk away or just be quiet. I promise you will be happier and we just might make the world a little better place if we try.