Meeting people halfway isn’t always on my bucket list of places I want to go. But, if one of the most important trips in my life is meeting people halfway, what does that look like in today’s polarized environment?
First, it might mean, going out of my way.
I’ve been set in my ways for . . . forever. But, something isn’t always the right way just because it is familiar.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
Changing My Attitude, even this late in the game
What can I change about my way so others might be willing to meet me? I can
- Shut up: Unless my words will improve silence . . . Job 13:5
- Listen: It is a primary command in Proverbs, and the path to wisdom.
- Empathize . . . Because that’s how God got my attention. (Psalm 56:3)
- Pray that what upsets me, is what upsets God. (Job 30:25)
- Remember that the leaders I admire may just have character defects that other people see more clearly. (Psalm 146:3)
- Keep in mind that the politicians, etc. I abhor have a few redeeming strengths I don’t know about; namely they serve for God’s reasons. (The Purpose and Role of Government)
- Resign as resident critic of the what’s happening now. (Remember Job’s friends?)
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank
Doing Something Concrete, even in a Pandemic
Second, meeting someone halfway just might mean actually getting up and going . . . another way . . . a wee bit away from the convenience of social media, my favorite campsite. (No matter how I moan about it.)
- Find something to do for someone else (maybe some with whom I . . . . disagree) and do it
Of course, COVID-19 has hemmed me in; but writing a note – you know on stationery with a postage stamp is one way I can get me into another person’s home.
I love getting mail . . . I bet even folks on the opposite side of so many “issues” that keep us barricaded like something other than junk mail, too.
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little — do what you can. ~Sydney Smith
Does painting count?