I love having very engaged conversations about current topics. As a single mom raising two sons, we had them late at night around the kitchen table, and I believe it taught them to think critically and be able to substantiate their points of view. Now I have them with my husband.
A recent conversation of ours was about how people relate to each other, the lines we draw in the sand, and the reasons why. We focused on the innate need for all creatures to develop a sense of identity through community, both identifying how we fit in certain circles, and differentiate ourselves from others where we do not feel a kindred spirit.
We talked about how this occurs in nature, as well as in humanity. For those of you who know my husband, this makes perfect sense. For those who don't, he's an avid outdoorsman and conservationist. Wolves, for instance, will separate into packs and ultimately fight for territory or control with brothers, sisters and parents of the pack. Birds will puff up their chests, strut around and declare superiority as a way of demonstrating they are a better choice for mating.
This post is more introspective than anything else. Consider the circles in which you feel most at home. What draws you to them? Why do you feel separated from other circles or communities? Why are the lines so rigid?
Then ask yourself if you really need to draw those lines. Is it possible that we, as individuals, as a society, as a human race, could find it within ourselves to spend less time drawing circles with thick borders and perhaps draw circles with dotted lines instead? What if we spent more time inviting others in to see life from our point of view for a while? What would that look like? We used to call this healthy discourse, and should again.
In truth we all have different experiences and feelings, which are not open to debate. Those experiences and the emotions connected are very real to each of us, even if our experience of them is different from someone else's. The sharing of those experiences and feelings can enrich our own understandings if we truly listen, perhaps changing or reinforcing our opinions and may strengthen our acceptance of each other when we see how human we all are.
In the professional world, we talk about diversity in terms of ethnicity, but diversity comes in many forms. The diversity of life experience is what can strengthen our businesses, work relationships and personal relationships if we give each other a chance to share openly and learn from each other.
Ronnie Roll has started several businesses from the "I Have An Idea" stage to grand openings and beyond. Her passion is helping others achieve their dreams, and her art mediums are business modeling and food.