It seems and feels like the world is more divided than it’s ever been. People have their opinions and it seems their opinions, are so strong that it carries an apparent power that can destroy friendships and even family relationships. Everyone has their mental position. And it seems the mental positions people carry are stronger and deeper than ever. But one thing I’ve realized is if you look deeper passed someone’s mental position into the root of it, you might better understand where someone is coming from. It doesn’t mean you agree with a certain position. But If we all took a minute to be patient with one another to understand where someone’s truly coming from we might be able to bridge our gaps and develop better solutions.
I belong to a neighborhood group website called “Next Door”where people post about all sorts of things from community events to crime alerts. Lately in my community sense, especially the pandemic has started, the homeless population has grown exponentially. Citizens are divided on the issue deeply and a debate rages whenever there is a topic remotely related to that. Recently someone posted a picture of a man on a corner having what possibly could’ve been a manic episode, or perhaps a drug related episode, but he looked like he was talking to himself and yelling. The citizen posted a video of it from a distance so his face was not in the video, but the tone was more of a call for empathy and hope that we can look after our fellow human beings better to prevent this. One of the participants on the thread was adamant that post be taken down because it was viewed as a violation of his privacy, and could be very threatening to the mental well-being of the individual if you were to see it. I call her Kris X. She begged and pleaded and yelled as much as one can on the thread to take this post down. To the point where I might’ve chimed in to say “give it a rest, the author/poster was coming from a good place. I was irritated with this person‘s adamant stance that seemed so strong. I was curious what was driving her passionate plea. Something told me to read on. So when I went to review the thread and read one of her responses, she stated that she was homeless as a child, and currently does homeless outreach. It was at that point that I realized where her pain was coming from. The source revealed itself. It was childhood trauma and it was hitting her deep within from her human experience. Her pain was deep and you could see the passion in every plea and response. Peeling back the proverbial banana revealed what was truly there and the foundation of her strong mental position and trauma as a human being. And from there I understood and approached my position different as a result. If we all took a minute after we have decided the other person is wrong to maybe try and understand where a strong opinion is truly coming from, we can get to understanding each other, not only as a society, but as a global community.
Whatever number of issues out there in the human experience, we all have our opinions and mental positions. If we were more empathetic and patient with one another enough to take a minute to understand where these positions are rooted, we might all get along much better and solve more issues more efficiently. Instead of so quickly deciding one person is right in the other is wrong. There is no right or wrong in presence. That is a function of the ego. So next time you find yourself in an argument or debate, pause for a minute and think about what your other person has gone through to develop this place of positioning. We might actually figure things out quicker as a society and find finally find some common ground.