NEXT067 Us and Them

Posted on : 21-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Communication, Heart Talks

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Warning, the blogger writing this post has a mind filled with conversations and information from Political Science class this afternoon!

On my very first day in boarding school at the tender young age of 15, I walked into my room with Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” blaring from my room mate’s stereo.  That was the fall of 1973 and the song continued to follow me along my journey at the Academy.  Here it is a few decades later and this song popped into my head again while hearing the Poli-Sci Professor explain the “definition of poverty” and the disagreement and definitions between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

I realized again that “we” are getting all caught up in the us vs. them syndrome again.  For instance, it was said that “liberals talked about the near poor, those who would be in poverty without some kind of governmental benefit and the conservatives say that “the poverty rate only takes into account income and not assets such as cars, homes, etc.  Then we talked about welfare and for the first time since this class began, a number of students began to talk.  Some of the students had some pretty grounded opinions but others seemed to be parroting what they had been fed. At least, I remember that was how I was when I first began college lo those many years ago. I respected my father so much that I never stopped to consider how I really felt about what was going on around me politically nor cared to learn what it all meant.  So glad I’m in a different place about it today!

There’s examples of us vs. them all around us, we humans seem to know how to pit ourselves against each other really well.  Must be some kind of reptilian brain response to step out of the egg and on to someone’s head before they can do it to us.  But in the real scheme of things, in growing and expanding our beings as much as we possibly can…isn’t it really about listening to each other and finding a common ground to then find a way to work together better?  For example, there is someone who I’ve had long and involved conversations about Global Warming.  I realized soon into our first conversations that this person was very hot under the collar about what they believed (there is no such thing as Global Warming) and so no matter what I said to them, they were not going to “hear” (or care to hear) my point of view.  So, I had to step out of my own opinion about Global Warming and look at the bigger picture…set aside the labels.  I asked this person if they could agree that the major ice caps were melting (yes) and could they agree that Texas is experiencing a horrific drought (yes) and could the agree that the North and East seems to be having harsher winters (yes)…so then we could both walk in agreement towards finding solutions of how to either help heal or prevent the situations.

Let go of the labels.  Lean forward into understanding.

It’s not about us vs. them, actually it’s about the we.  Who can you lean forward into understanding better?

Shine on you crazy diamond!

Shine on you crazy diamond!!