What if We Truly Embraced Each Other’s Differences?

Global Children

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”  Elizabeth Gilbert

As I’m approaching my holiday season and for me celebrating Christmas, I find myself distracted by recent world events including the attack in Paris, bombing of Turkey and other unsettling events. These events arise out of intolerance of other’s beliefs, and the desire for power.

All I want for Christmas this year is world peace!

So where can we begin? As individuals I encourage us all to:

  1. Listen Intently. Take the time to really listen, not so that you can respond, but so you can hear their perspective fully.
  2. When talking with someone who holds a differing belief, ask questions to understand their perspective.
  3. Hold Judgement. We all hold world views based on our own personal experience and they make sense from our own beliefs.
  4. Move into Acceptance. Even if you disagree with someone’s point of view, accept it as their reality. Don’t try to convince them to your opinion.
  5. Reflect back what you’ve heard them say to ensure you heard their point of view.
  6. Now that you have confirmed your understanding and they’ve had the opportunity to clarify, you can ask if they are open to understanding your perspective on the topic. If yes, then share. It’s often surprising how much others become open to listening when they feel understood and accepted.
  7. Agree to Disagree. At times, it becomes clear that both parties are firm in differing viewpoints, agree to disagree and seek a solution that embraces the differences – you may find it’s an even more powerful result.

I wish each and everyone in the world the joy of acceptance and peace!

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