These are troubled and turbulent times. Once, my friend and I could discuss issues where we differed without rancor. Occasionally we found ourselves vigorously disputing across a chasm of difference. We were not willing to risk our friendship. We were determined to work on it.
Starting from a Shared Value
We resolved to start our discussions by stating a common value. World peace was a good choice. For over a year, I began many conversations by saying, “I am for world peace.”
Our conversations started there and branched out to other issues. Some were global. We talked about the Syrian government using chemical weapons on their own people. We pondered what to do about China imprisoning more than a million Muslims.
We talked about local issues, too. Should renters who lost their jobs during the pandemic be evicted? What about defunding the police?
We agreed on many goals, like world peace, but we frequently disagreed about how to achieve those goals. We differed in how we understood the world.
My friend wishes for the perfectibility of human beings. He thinks that it’s possible to overcome human nature with good thoughts and intentions.
I used to believe that enlightenment notion, but a different world view seemed to explain reality better. I think people will continue to act as they have for millennia. We must deal with the world as it is and not as we wish it to be.
That’s the gap we haven’t bridged. We agree on the goal of world peace. We can’t agree on how to achieve it, whether we were talking about peace between Israel and the Arabs or peace in our streets.
Have you experienced something similar? How did you deal with it?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”