Power of the Embrace
Why do you think that way?
If you are like many people, you have probably asked yourself why can’t people simply just get it. Well to answer that question, you must first ask, what is it that you want them to get? Most likely you are one of countless Americans that incorrectly assume that their way of thinking and acting is the correct way that people should think and act. If you are, then I am glad you are reading this article.
Is Equality Selective?
Our United States Constitution states, “All Men are Created Equal”. However, We the People, fail to embrace the baseline definition of this. Instead, we choose to live in a bubble created by divisive communities that exist to isolate their members from the rest of the country and the world. I see this as a problem. How can we be an inclusive society if our people continue to create a divide from one side of the street to another?
What do you think?
Do you think that common sense is subjective (Based on individual experiences) or universal (Everyone should have the same)?
What do I mean? My circumstance is different than my neighbor’s circumstance, however, we share a common experience within our neighborhood. Given that this common experience exists, we share a common perception of our community. This is typically a good thing. Where it turns bad is when someone who moves in to the house across the street, starts to have parties, and friends over that park all down the street. The parties are not loud or anything, there is no disturbance, but we just simply don’t like the fact that, so many people are parked all down the street. This aggravation causes me and my neighbor to start talking about the events and sharing our feelings about them. Because we share a common perception, there is no constructive dissent that would spark critical thinking about the issue. As a result, we mount a stand against the new neighbors across the street, and hold a discussion with the home owner’s association, and even call the city about the impediment that the additional cars cause.
We are Obligated to.
I do understand that this is a simple example, however it shines light on the bigger problem. Because the new neighbor did not share my perception, I would look to create a problem for them. The same happens when a person or family from a different culture or social background moves into our communities. They are only doing what they know to do, and most people would rather sit back talking about them and making moves behind their back, than to sit down and have a meal with them and try to understand why they are the way they are. This also creates dialogue where we are given the opportunity to express our concerns and even possibly come to a compromise.
What does it look like?
Imagine that the old man down the street asks you over to talk. You have never talked with the old man, and what you have heard about the old man is that he is self-righteous. Despite your apprehension, you agree to go to his house because you believe there may be some benefit in it. You arrive at his house, and he invites you in but tells you that you can only sit on the edge of the couch. You sit there and wait for him to give you permission to move. You stay right there. You don’t ask any questions, he is known to be narcissistic and egotistical. You feel that there is no way he will let you do anything other than sit on the couch. But then he does something remarkable. He asks you about your experience since you have lived in the neighborhood. He tells you that you can go to the fridge if you want, and get a beer. He begins to tell you how interested he is in how you manage your lawn, and asks you for advice on the best hedge trimmers. You start to conversate and realize that “This guy is just like me”.
Social and Cultural Embrace
Taking the same example and turning it into how we interact with people from other social and cultural backgrounds can help us to become the nation our Forefathers planned for. We can become “One Nation, Under God” instead of Many nations on one continent. When we can start to immerse ourselves in each other’s cultures, we can grow by taking a little of what makes each and everyone of us remarkable. Look for what makes each person great rather than what makes them different from you. That is the Power of the Embrace.
© 2017 RC Fleming