Four Questions Toward Bridging the Divides

The key to beginning to bridge the huge social and political divides that the election results brought out so starkly is to engage and build relationships with each other rather than continue to attack and defeat each other. To do that, it is essential that we first listen to each other, with true curiosity, and as compassionately and non-judgmentally as possible. We need to listen to the thoughts, feelings, concerns, and needs of each other, but even more importantly, to listen to each other’s STORY – what experiences has someone had that have led that person to what they believe and how they act. In this way, we can hopefully find common ground and a shared path to go forward, even if we don’t agree on beliefs and policies. At the very least, we can lessen the sense of alienation and demonization that is so polarizing our country now, and create a deeper understanding and compassion for each other. That certainly doesn’t solve all the problems and conflicts, but it can create a foundation for more constructive relationships and engagement, and, ultimately, reconciliation. While it is comforting – or satisfying – at this time, depending on which side of the divide you are on, to only relate to those who think like you do, it is essential that, eventually, we reach out across the divide to build connections.

There are several organizations out there dedicated to bringing people together for constructive and relationship- More