As our nation becomes more polarized every day, many of us are uncomfortable. We feel the bubble, the pressure…the steam. The visible manifestation of problems delayed, and troubles deferred are all around. I’ve personally struggled with WHAT to do; many of my friends, colleagues, and associates are struggling as well.
The only conclusion I have come to at this point, is that we should all seek understanding in the situation first. A deeper level of understanding, of all perspectives is the only measure that will ensure productive actions. Below is a three-step framework that can help guide anyone who is struggling in a direction of better understanding, your own, and that of others!
3 Steps to Understanding:
Identify the COMPLICATION
What is the particular problem we are seeking to understand and address? As more societal and interpersonal conflict erupts, for best results we must winnow issues down to a common ill, or problem we are seeking to understand or address. An approach that seeks the root-cause will be most effective.
Seek and Share EDUCATION
Many efforts to build harmony and increase levels of understanding across groups fail simply because the promoters of said agenda are either ill equipped, or do a poor job of sharing with others. The process of educating could be the most important step in any process. Bad info in leads to bad info out. Folks who spread misinformation hurt the credibility of the movement overall.
Decide Your Level of AGITATION
As Rev. Joseph Lowery admonished, NOTHING is achieved without some level of agitation. Many get uncomfortable in this space, due to feelings of uncertainty, or pressure and comparisons from and to others that we somehow are “not doing enough”. Do not fall prey to this thought process. Simply find a way to influence from your circle of influence that you are comfortable with, and execute. Everyone has their own role in creating a better society for us all. Find your spot and jump in.
This blog is where I have decided to spend some of my time and energy, hoping to create a dialogue that will help our society collectively understand our challenges, and develop a few solutions along the way. I hope that some of you will join me!