Take the 'Other' to lunch

Tamara - posted on 08/20/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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A very interesting piece. I have been thinking a lot about where all the division in our country has come from. After I heard this lecture, I realized that we are all just human, with a lot more in common than we think, but unless we get outside of our own selves, we will not be able to begin to understand each other.



Listening to this lecture just solidified my thinking that we are all being played against each other by some shadow government machine (and power hungry individuals). Ideas are being planted, and language used to bring the most divisiveness attributes out of mankind. We need to be more thoughtful and not jump to conclusions or rely on old stereotypes when functioning in the world. We need to see the world full of individuals, with much to contribute, instead of 'us vs them'. I include myself in these statements because I am just as guilty of knee jerk reactions as the next person. To say otherwise is being dishonest with yourself and your fellow man.



I'm glad I found this lecture because it is just proof that others are thinking what I am too and looking for real ways to bring unity back to our country, just as I hope we can.



Unity does not mean giving up our core values, but finding enough commonalities that we can build on. I just hope we have enough left in common, and haven't been so polarized, that doing so would just be a pipe dream.



http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/elizab...

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/29/2011

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This is a good idea. I honestly consider myself a moderate and I don't conform to either parties' idealisms. I also moved from the US to Canada and have seen that the Universal Health Care system works quite well for the citizens in Canada. The country's people are healthier because they don't have to worry about paying their doctor bills or if they'll be turned away for a terminal illness. Their government takes care of their people and the people take care of themselves as well.

That said there isn't a lot of competition between some companies (Gas stations in my city don't compete for prices the same 1.25 or so a liter is everywhere) The cost of living is higher as well. However I make double what I made back in my home state because the government has implimented a living wage instead of just a minimum wage and there's talk of the living wage going to 11.50$ an hour in a year.

The in fighting in politics is what's hurting the American people, not any one party.

Tammy - posted on 10/12/2011

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Haven't had a chance to watch teh link yet but it has been my observation that political correctness is one of the root causes of the division. Before, people would talk with eachother about pretty much anything and everything. They wouldn't always agree but most didn't take offense to anything and everything. Nowadays you can't say much without someone taking offense to it. One of the things that seemed to be "slipped" into the Constitution is crayon is a supposed right to not be offended. I do think it is a bit ironic that the most offended amoung us are generally the most offensive as well.

With that said, how on earth can any two people or two groups of people have a conversation about anything at all with everyone afraid of offending someone or searching out something to be offended by?

Rachelle - posted on 09/29/2011

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It is true, if it comes down to basic beliefs on freedoms, I bet we all agree. When it comes to the technicalities of it all, that is where we differ. I agree that corporations paired with govt. is wrong, and scary. Not all corporations are bad and greedy though, and we shouldn't lump them all into one category. It is just when they get special treatment by pairing up with the govt. is when it's wrong.... like G.E. for example.

Pamela - posted on 09/24/2011

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But it's not just our government that garbage comes in and out of. Is there government spending waste? Of course there is - so those are the areas we must reform. Nobody's going to disagree with that. But some of the corruption we're seeing is coming from corporations seeking (and getting) control or undue influence within our governmental branches. I think that's where we are losing our freedoms. Socialism isn't the horrible risk so many are afraid of. However, plutocracy is. We don't want corporations to have the reigns of our government.

Tamara - posted on 09/18/2011

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Agreed. We need to get the silly labels out of the way - all pretenses and preconceptions. I know it is hard. I am guilty of it too and even though I try, I find I can get sucked back into the 'political game' that is being played. Why can't we just focus on the fact that we are moms who love our kids, want freedom for us and our children and grandchildren, good health, happiness and a bright future full of opportunity?



There is more than just one way to do things and usually there is a much better way if we put our heads together, shelve the emotions, put away the blame, commit to the conversation and the end result and then work hard.



The problem is we have a corrupt system where politicians only really care about the next election, or how much money a lobbyist can stuff in their pockets, or which law they can create to their advantage. We have representatives that don't care for us, the people they are supposed to SERVE and they forget that WE put them in office. Time to fire all the self serving, unproductive 'employees' (which I guess is about 90% of the government ;) ).

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/13/2011

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I agree with Pamela. And it is entirely possible to get along with 'the other side' Heck a friend of mine back in New York is what I'd call a moderate liberal and her husband is very conservative. He's a great guy even if I don't agree on everything he has to say. I've found he's very open minded as well.

I've been able to get along with a lot of people who don't share all of my views. This sometimes includes my own husband or my own parents.

I find the biggest issues in government is that most of the politicians we elect to office are more concerned with being right and acting like small children rather than doing the job they were chosen to do. Thankfully most people aren't like that. Most citizens are able to get along well with others who may not always embrace their veiws. It would be nice if government could do the same thing.

Pamela - posted on 10/13/2011

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I don't think "political correctness" is the problem nor is it the root; however, I think the terrible lack of civility aggravates the division but really, at the root of things is an "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude that leaves no room for discussion. Both sides of the debate are guilty of this. When we start painting one another as people who embrace "evil", well then there isn't a whole lot of room for conversation, is there? When there can be no compromise, no civil debate without things degenerating into a shout fest, well then we end up with division.

I don't think anyone has slipped anything into the Constitution about the "right" to "not be offended". The political dialogue in this country is no longer dialogue - it is frequently rude, distorted and that is what is offensive (to me at least). When someone tells me that I am evil because I don't agree with them and I hold to certain principles (and that has happened more than once), well that can a bit offensive, though frankly I take statements like that with a serious grain of salt because 1) that individual doesn't really know me and 2) so far, my friends and family have assured me I am not evil:) Maybe it's just because I'm older (and hopefully a little wiser), but it's pretty hard to offend me anymore - though not impossible. I'm working on that.

By the way Tammy - I am not accusing you of doing this, so please don't take me personally. I am speaking in generalities here. I've dialogued with you before and you've pretty much always been respectful:)

So what are the commonalities that we can build upon (I'm speaking to the whole community here)? What do we agree on? Rather than focusing on our disagreements, can we build upon the things we agree with? There are probably some areas where we will might not find any agreement BUT, can we agree to disagree? Can we treat one another with respect and listen to each other without interrupting and cold condemnation? I love the idea of exploring this because folks we're all in this together. You're well-being affects my well-being and vice versa. What we do to others will be done to us...

Statesmanship used to involve this kind of thinking. Politics used to be more "horse-trading" than unbending ideology. Can we move more in that direction?

Barbara - posted on 09/23/2011

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I agree with everything that you are saying we need to get back to; however, sometimes that's easier said then done. The longer I live to see the garbage that goes in and comes out of our gov't, the more I see that many (not all) of the issues that are being debated heatedly are those core issues that would require us to compromise our foundational values. Consider too that allowing a foothold in the wrong direction (no matter how small) can quickly grow out of control. Compromising is a good thing, but not at the expense of our freedoms. Many who refuse to compromise (not all) should be commended for drawing the line. If we don't draw the line somewhere, then we are agreeing to lose it all. At this point in time, I believe that our gov't is so out of hand that it is time to draw that concrete line and stop compromising (on foundational values). The compromise is what has led us in this direction in the first place.

Pamela - posted on 09/17/2011

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I agree. I think we are being played - because those in power understand that a house divided cannot stand. We all want the same things - opportunity to thrive for ourselves and our children. We all want clean water to drink, clean air to breath and while we may not always agree on how to achieve those things, we must start to listen to one another. You are not the enemy and I am not the enemy though we might disagree on some things. But guess what? I bet we don't disagree on everything.

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