“I don’t know how anyone could ever ___________!”
Fill in the blank with whatever you wish, friends.
In the last week, I’ve heard everything put in that blank from believing her, believing him, being ok with dirty politics, to being an Ohio State football fan.
My fear is we’re collectively making a most grievous, blinding error.
Note the subject of that first sentence: I… me… my… myself…
Because “I don’t know” — because I don’t think that way — I project my perspective onto all others as the only wise perspective they could or should possess.
I assume I am right and that no reasonable person — certainly not an intelligent nor mature one — could come to any different conclusion.
So allow me to humbly ask… since when did it become wise to believe that there is only one right perspective?
Since when did it become wise to believe that there is only one right way to proceed?
And since when did it become wise to project our own experience and our learnings from that experience onto everyone else?
It’s ok to see things different ways.
A year ago, we published a post entitled “Death to Our Relationships.” Substantive to the primary point were the words written by Washington Post columnist Christine Emba, discussing the deteriorating communication in our country. Said Emba, “Both right and left have engaged in the breakdown-inducing behaviors that have put our democracy on the edge of divorce.”
Is that not the truth?
Said Senators Collins and Murkowski respectively on Friday…
“We live in a time of such great disunity, as the bitter fight over this nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of different groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them…”
“I’m worried. I am really worried that this becomes the new normal, where we find new and even more creative ways to tear one another down.”
Let’s examine the bigger picture. Intelligent people are warring against one another; they are assuming another to actually be lesser because of their intense disagreement. Allow me to then also suggest that such intensity combined with intelligence is impairing not only our individual perspectives — but also how we treat all of mankind.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a Special Olympics bowling competition for high schoolers in our county. It was a humbling, amazing event, seeing 5-6 Olympians fill well over 50 lanes. And then it dawned on me… did anyone notice the shirt that many of the very special athletes wore?
Read from the back of my son’s shirt:
“Play unified. Live unified.”
I couldn’t help but think that here in an arena not necessarily known for its intelligence or cognitive astuteness, there is so much the rest of us could learn.