Two members of my tribe, representing different ethnic backgrounds, are conservative, not necessarily politically Republican, but certainly possessing leanings in that direction. I have other tribe members who are conservative but I had no idea these two felt similarly until we had one of our friendly fireside chats. Both tribe members, a business executive and a tech guru, are extremely intelligent, industrious and perceptive. As they shared some of their views, it initially felt like meeting a unicorn for the first time. I was a little shook beyond simple curiosity. Some of their observations were new to me but their views were presented logically with facts, examples and anecdotal stories to substantiate their arguments. This part was not surprising because, as stated previously, both are highly intelligent (and loving and kind even though it is hidden behind a stoic exterior). My thinking mind could not reject their positions outright. Some of the information even registered as “plausible” and “TrUthful” to me intuitively. My inner nerd was fascinated, as I became an eager student sitting in awe, absorbing the information while keeping track of its many layers. My own research later verified most of their observations (stats, articles, data …you name it)!
TrUth! Is it absolute or are there sometimes nuances with shades of grey? Data and facts are important but they can be misinterpreted, especially if one does not consider the context in which they arise. Teachers often use venn diagrams to show students that two or more opposing things can have common ground right in the middle. More than ever before, we have to seek out areas of agreement when attempting to evaluate or label something as TrUth.
“The collective is best served when we don’t divide it.”Conservative Tribe Member
What does all this mean for me and potentially – – YOU? I learned that we cannot get so stuck in a position where we are unwilling to listen to the views of others. We have to hear opposing sides out. Their points of view often have some merit. Perhaps, you can learn something new or find common ground. This does not mean that there will be total agreement but you might be surprised at finding opportunities for compromise or even a change in perspective.
I really appreciate free-thinking people (whatever name you choose to call them …. rebels, contrarians, nerds, or unicorns etc.) Their fireside chats can be very enlightening and entertaining. They will also challenge you think outside the box (self restricting mind limitations). So, I’m looking forward to another chat soon. Next time, I’ll come prepared, as a friend and student, to listen, ask questions, debate and take notes if need be. How about you?