I had a very random conversation with a complete stranger, yesterday. He said that the hot issue many counselors/therapists/psychotherapists are dealing with, lately, is how to help their clients deal with friends and family, with whom they have differing political views. His point was that, in our current political climate, friends and family are being ripped apart by opposing loyalties and ideologies. People are increasingly afraid to open their mouth, and state their opinions, for fear of other’s reactions and potentially being ostracized.
Differences of opinions – even within families – is nothing new. But, tearing families and friends apart?
What’s wrong with us?
I listened to a speaker last night, who said many wise things, and much that I agreed with. But, there were HUGE holes in his arguments. And, he unfairly villainized his opposition. As much as I liked and agreed with the speaker, the voice in my head kept screaming, “YEAH! BUT… WHAT ABOUT…..?”
Even my denomination is currently polarized around the issue of homosexuality; opposing sides condemning the other. Many are fighting and praying to find a middle-way. And, many fear that no middle-way will be found, and that we, like so many friends and families, will also be ripped apart.
It is just so easy to paint everyone with the absurdly broad brushes of black or white, right or wrong, saint or sinner, good or bad. And, it is so inaccurate and so unfair. Why must my opposition be evil, ignorant, and immoral? Is it possible that both could be partially right, and partially wrong? Is it possible that neither could be right? Is it possible that both could be right, depending on your perspective and agenda?
Can’t we see that the truth – the TRUTH – is often somewhere in the middle?
As I watched the endless political debates of 2016, both Republican and Democrat, I constantly thought “There’s got to be more to the story. The other side can’t be THAT wrong; THAT evil; THAT short-sided. The solutions can’t be THAT obvious.” Are either the Democrats or the Republicans right about everything? Of course not. Neither party can even find agreement even within their own ranks. But, neither are 100% wrong, either!
Why must we villainize each other? Don’t people matter more than points of view? Can’t we disagree, and still find ways to respect one another, and even work together for solutions that just might be wiser and richer from considering broader points of view?
Grey is not a watered down version of black, nor is it a dirtier version of white. Grey is a legitimate color. In fact, it comes in many shades.
I’m embracing the grey.