It’s time for compromise and conversation

Jeanette Siemens
Jeanette Siemens

It's a new year. The month of February celebrates love, and spring, a time of growth, is on the horizon. These are all times and things representing "newness", refreshing, starting over, caring, and maybe even resolutions.

So what if, just what if, we could begin to respect, I didn't say accept, but respect, someone else's thoughts and ideas that are different than ours. What if, just what if, by respecting those thoughts and ideas we began to understand we all have various ideas based on our own experiences and backgrounds contributing to our different thoughts, ideas and values. What if, again, just what if, because of that respect and understanding we could begin to make decisions and take action that MIGHT be supportive of each other's trains of thought in some fashion. What if, only what if, we could begin having conversations that were open to compromise, possibly a considering a different way of doing things. What if we got to know, I don't mean just recognize visually, but got to know a least one someone that differed in thoughts and ideas. What might that lead too?

Okay, so why on earth should any of us waste our precious time with those who disagree and view the world differently than we do? Time is precious and ours to use as we choose. Because of the color of my hair, it's common knowledge I have been around a while and have experienced a few things. I would like to think that means older and wiser, but I am not sure. I am sure, however, that there have been times that I have come to know someone that I wasn't really excited about knowing but after beginning to "know" them, I find there are some commonalities we share; things we enjoy and value that are common. Many times I have learned of something from the past that has caused a good reason to view the world somewhat differently than I do. Most generally, I am glad we were able to interact with each other.

I remember a gentleman whom I worked with years ago. He served on one of the boards with whom I worked. It seemed that whenever a project was introduced, he could put the squelch on it immediately, or if it was something he liked, move it forward quickly. We just could not seem to communicate. He wasn't anyone I was comfortable to be around but I had to work with. One day it dawned on me how differently we did things and after some thought and perspective, simple things began to fall in place. He needed distinct facts and figures before moving forward. I looked more at how people would feel, learn, do, etc., as part of the issue/project. Put us together combining all those ways of doing things and some good things were able to happen. That person became a friend and we worked well together developing a good friendship. We took time to get to know each other and understand each other a bit better.

So, what if people who represent us could begin to see each other in a fashion where not EVERYTHING is bad because there is a different political label behind their name? That almost sounds like a very bad joke in this day and age.

What if we would begin to experiment with trying to get to know someone beyond the label they have been given? What if we found we have a lot in common and at the very least, begin to understand more WHY they feel the way they do?