This week both Steph and I had the good fortune to attend lectures by HRH Brene Brown. I have a sneaking suspension that the lessons we learned from Brene and her new book Braving the Wilderness (buy it, buy it, buy it!) will fuel both our posts this week.
It’s not a surprise that we’re all struggling right now. Everything in our world seems divided because, let’s face it, everything is divided — especially in the US. Today I got into a social media tiff with a relative because I posted a moderately divisive post about #actionoverprayer. But the thing is, I didn’t mean to ostracize someone I care about, to cause inflammation amongst public discourse. I just wanted to encourage people in my network to be move involved in the problems of our world. I didn’t even think that it could incite mild controversy on my page.
But incite it did. And rather than firing back with what my bleeding-liberal-heart wanted to say about innocent lives over shooting hobbies and if someone doesn’t agree with me then they can just defriend me, I decided to consider the lessons I learned this past week. About how we are forming these isolated factions — us versus them.
And that mentality isn’t making our country any less sick. It isn’t making us any more connected. In fact, Brene’s data shows the opposite. That we feel more lonely and isolated than ever because we forgot to recognize the humanity between us. We have depleted our interconnectedness to such an extent that we refuse to challenge our own perspectives. To acknowledge a middle ground.
None of us are good at this.
But Brene asks us to be better. To address disagreements in an open-hearted way. To agree that our social issues exist on a continuum rather than separated pillars.
Brene’s call to action weighed heavily on my heart all week. She asks us to ENHANCE our relationships by improving our conversations. To recognizing that it isn’t all-or-nothing. That you can be against us while still being with us.
So rather than lecture my cousin, rather than call to arms my liberal brethren to teach this guy a lesson, I decided to message him separately. Acknowledge that we disagree on a lot of things but at the heart of the matter, we can hopefully agree that there is a problem we want to fix. We need to fix. And it doesn’t matter if it is done exactly my way (or my party’s way) or his. That our egotistical sense of righteousness isn’t what the world needs right now.
We owe it to ourselves (in the plural sense) to find our way back to each other.
This week we take it a step further and SUSPEND judgement, harsh words, and possibly some disbelief…
Lin’s VOW mantra: Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. Edward Abbey
Lin’s SOW (Song Of the Week): More Today Than Yesterday (Carmen McRae or Goldfinger versions)
& Be sure to catch Steph’s #VOWenhance and #VOWsuspend join post (coming soon!)