Black and White is too Often The Challenge of Them vs Us

We are now the victims of categorizing by assumption. You’re a certain color so I assume (without asking) you must believe this. You voted Biden or Trump so you are that. Nothing can end a debate or exchange of ideas quicker than putting a supposed political opponent in a category of Them. 

Human’s, all animals, quickly make a judgement and place someone as friend or foe, of no consequence, or a potential threat. The reason is evolutionary. Our ancient ancestors couldn’t know all of the details about an individual they just saw outside the cave, so it became quicker and safer to put them in a category. You can say this is the same for a dog or a cat as an animal from outside their neighborhood saunters up. And watch a bird nervously looking all around while they eat. This is a protective and often lifesaving reaction. But can be unfair and separating with humans.

Our media promotes this tendency to categorize Others as Them. We allow it, seeking only those messengers who reinforce our viewpoints. And the more eyes, the more advertising dollars. It’s arguably a morally corrupt way to run a communication business, but profitable.

So how do we who are divided seek compromise and common ground with those we so strongly don’t like, are sick of listening to, and get mad even looking at some of the cable pundit’s faces? There is an art to compromise. A first step is you must see value in convincing the Other Side of your beliefs. You have to Want to. Then learn more about “the enemy” and what you have in common. Common ground is the high ground in coming together. Be open, be respectful, and know the details of another’s beliefs as well as your own. Stop lumping and assuming and even having a Them versus Us mentality because it takes us nowhere but into our own fortresses.

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