Appreciating both Red and Blue

Have you ever appreciated someone else’s different skills? To function as a civilized society, we need people to have and share their different gifts and talents.  

We need people willing to focus their time and energy in different areas. If everyone focuses their time and energy on the same issues and projects, some very important issues and projects may not be addressed.  

Does this extend to different views and perspectives as well? What if we need Democrats and Republicans and other political parties who fundamentally view things differently? Might that be an important part of our democracy?  If only one perspective is viewed, something or someone undoubtedly gets overlooked.  

During times of pain or crisis, political labels generally disappear, and people recognize that they need each other. The truth may be that we need each other every single day. 

Just because we need each other does not mean it is necessarily easy to talk with each other. If you are looking for ideas on how to talk with your neighbor about political issues, sign up for the online Peace Building 101 class. (Free during 2020). Remember to approach challenging conversations with 1) curiosity with a sincere desire to understand, 2) compassion that demonstrates an understanding that your neighbor’s view meets a need, and 3) clarity about how you show up in the moment, regardless of another’s behavior.

While you may not agree with your Blue or Red neighbor, are you willing to approach conversations clarity, compassion, and curiosity?  You may just begin to appreciate that the person offers a view that you could not see from where you stand. 

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.