It’s Valentine’s Day. So I’ve been thinking about the lack of love in the polarized posts on social media, and it seems like we could really benefit by finding love in our interactions. Many of my friends are doing this. And here are my thoughts on what I see.
Over and Over and Over Again
The current political climate reminds me of old married couple who has been having the same argument for decades. Some couples become increasingly entrenched in their perspective, making it difficult or impossible to find a solution that would work for both.
The argument might be about how to spend the money in the budget. One wants to save for their children’s education. The other thinks the kids should work their way through school if they want to go; the money should be saved for another purpose. (This metaphor assumes that they have the income to make those kinds of choices. And so argue about them. That’s a whole other discussion.)
What Is Our Desired Destination?
Maybe it’s more like arguing about which destination is best. Let’s say we start in Chicago. One wants to go to Miami. The other wants to go to San Diego. If each person digs in and insists that their destination is best, then the discussion goes around in circles. It never goes anywhere. While a couple may choose to take separate trips, we can’t do that with a country.
So we start out in Chicago and zig zag on our drive. One administration drives toward Miami. Then next administration drives toward San Diego. Back and forth across the country. Not the most efficient way to go anywhere. And I know you can think of other things to add to the analogy. One partner heads toward San Diego, the other re-programs the GPS or gives incorrect directions from the map. Or flattens a tire. We could go on. But I digress.
Finding the Love
So maybe it’s time to step back and ask each other what we want to accomplish.
“What is it you like about Miami?” “What is it you like about San Diego?”
In talking about what we love and want to experience at our destination city, we are likely to find out that both of us want a warmer climate, beaches, sunshine and fun activities. Both of these can be found in both places. And then we are finding the love. We discuss the finer points of what fun activities we would do in each place. Whether we prefer a dry warm climate or an arid warm climate. We might find another destination or another plan tp both get what we want.
And we just might argue a little less about it.
Finding the Love in Debate
In the same way, if we can cross the political divide and talk to each other, I would not be surprised we we wanted many of the same things. Like Peace, prosperity, health, freedom, and so on.
So I will take opportunities when I can to reach across the divide and find out what we have in common. I don’t like arguing. Not even when it’s low key. So this idea feels better for my Peace of mind. And one person at a time, it just might help to mend the divide. Sure it could take a long time. But what’s the alternative?
What About You?
Do you bring Love for yourself and others to your conversations?