Understanding Needs to be Mutual

I assume the current animosity between opposing political perspectives is causing everyone concern regardless of which side of political spectrum or squarely in the middle? I have kindred spirits in both camps. In spite of this, I confess, I have failed to fully comprehend the hatred and disrespect that I see online. More importantly, I genuinely don’t grasp so many of the views held by a significant percentage of the US population.

With that in mind it is time for me to to make a more concerted effort to understand those I disagree with, to spend more time listening. The ultimate goal it to develop mutual respect and understanding such that I am no longer flabbergasted by what I read. Instead, I can empathize and put myself in their shoes, walk a mile (or more), and understand. I can see the consternation they are experiencing. Notice, there is no intent to persuade or to change someone’s mind. I think that is asking too much. Understanding is all that I ask.

However, I have recently realized it is not sufficient for only me to understand you. It turns out that understanding needs to be mutual. You also need to try put yourself in my shoes and understand my perspective. Without mutual understanding, true connection doesn’t happen, reconciliation won’t occur, and respect will not develop.

With that in mind, anyone who disagrees, perhaps even vehemently, care to hang out with me in order for us to bring about mutual understanding, reconciliation, and even respect?

P.S. It turns out I have noticed the same need for understanding in my own family. If (hypothetically of course), we have a disagreement in my family, I both want to understand and want to be understood. Unilateral understanding is not understanding.

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