Health & FitnessHow to Respond to Calls for Unity Amid Polarization
We live in a polarized world. People have differences in opinions and beliefs. The problem is that we become more hateful. Instead of listening to other people, we insist on what we believe is true. We also don’t stick with the issues alone, but we attack people personally. Therefore, it’s not easy to think about the possibility of unity. It seems that with the level of polarization the world faces right now, there is no place for unity. However, before you feel disappointed, you need to understand that unity is possible. You can also do your share to help.
Be more open-minded
Sure, you have strong beliefs based on your experiences and culture. However, it doesn't mean that other people are wrong. They might also have a reason for believing in something that you don't. The least you can do is to be more open-minded. Suspend judgement and try to listen with intent. There's also no need to immediately change your mind and views after a discussion. Again, the point is to have an open line of communication. It’s always a good practice to listen to other people, especially if you don’t agree on certain issues.
Disagreements aren’t a personal attack
When you argue with someone, it doesn’t mean that the attack is on a personal level. You can disagree on different issues without taking it personally. It’s easier to listen if you try to separate yourself from the discussion. Allow things to stay on a professional level. It also means that even if you feel personally attacked, you shouldn’t respond similarly. Be more cautious of what you say, and try not to offend other people.
Think about the bigger picture
The idea of unity in the middle of a polarized society might seem impossible. However, you should look at the bigger picture. Sure, we disagree on many things, but it doesn’t mean that unity is beyond reach. Besides, when we stay angry at each other because of differences, it will only lead to more problems. Wars happen because people don’t like to listen to others. They think that it’s either their way or they’ll engage in a war. If we take the steps towards being more united, we can prevent more wars and deaths from happening. In this regard, it’s always worth a try.
Don’t listen to the same media outlets
One of the reasons we don't understand each other is that we limit the people we listen to. It's easy for us to get persuaded to only believe in one side because we only stick with one media outlet. We even choose outlets that confirm our pre-existing beliefs. The best way forward is to consider listening to other outlets too. It doesn't mean that you will believe what they say, but you will understand other people's points of views. You will also understand where they're coming from. If you discuss with someone else in the future, you will know how to respond.
Never stress out
If you keep thinking about the differences in opinions and beliefs, it can stress you out. It’s even more challenging if you try to convince other people to believe in you. If you already become overwhelmed, you have to pause for a while. Don’t let anything stress you out. You can never solve differences everywhere. Even people tasked to do the job also have a hard time doing it. As long as you do your share, it’s good enough. Don’t try to absorb the negativity around you. If you have a freestanding bath at home, you need to use it to relax. It helps to forget problems for a while. It will also make you more relaxed if you engage in arguments with other people.
Hopefully, we will live in a more united society. For now, you can start with your family. If there are disagreements, you can start to talk about them. You should also find a way to reconcile with those members you disagreed with for a while for whatever reason. There are even families torn apart because of political differences. It’s time to reach out and begin the path towards healing.
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