I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine

Can we start with that?

I don’t know the shoes you’ve walked in.  I don’t understand the values that were instilled in you while growing up.  I don’t know your parents, grandparents, siblings or any other family members; nor do I know what it is about them that’s endearing to you.

Guess what? You’re probably just as much in the dark about me.

So how could I judge you for your opinions? Sure, it’s fine if you want to disagree with me and even tell me in so many different ways why you think I’m wrong. I should be able to do the same with you. Nothing wrong with a healthy debate.

I think America is the first, and maybe only, place in the world built on the foundational principal of individual rights. I’m allowed and encouraged to feel the way I do, as are you. It’s our inalienable right……right? So long as I don’t act on this right in a manner that causes you harm or infringes on your rights. It’s a beautiful thing.

It’s OK if you’re uncomfortable, bothered, annoyed, or even put off by my opinions, values, principals, or actions.

I feel strongly about my positions. They’re near and dear to me. They’re deeply rooted in my upbringing, my personality, my religion.

Maybe your upbringing, personality, and religious believes are different than mine. I couldn’t possibly relate to why you feel the way you do. Heck, you might not even be able to rationalize or explain why you feel the way you do.

Can we just remember that all of this is OK and move on? Wouldn’t it be the most ironic tragedy if we all destroyed what it is that gives us these rights because we couldn’t live together under the basis that we’re supposed to see things differently? Seeing things differently is what makes us so amazingly great together. Checks and balances. Tomato-….. you get my point (I hope).

Let’s go even a step further. Instead of being so focused and emphatic about what we can’t agree on, what if we focused on all the other things we do agree on? I bet we see 90% of things the same way. Why should we let the 10% of things we disagree on tear us apart?

Agreed?

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