Calm down: This is not the greatest or the worst time to be alive

We live in the land of mutual exclusivity. 
I was recently reading an article by USA TODAY Sports about how rookie Laker Lonzo Ball is a “victim of hyperbole.”

The article says that, 

“With each impressive pass, each missed open shot and each turnover, the opinions of Ball’s game will oscillate from one extreme to the opposite.”

I witness this in many different forms in my life. From the extreme polarization of our politics to an inability to separate an artist from his or her works, everyone lives in a world where “you’re either with us or against us.”

Having a measured mindset, I find it extremely difficult these days to talk to people.

Either racism and sexism is everywhere or it’s nowhere. Either the music from decades ago is classic or it’s made for old people (and the music of today is “fire” or these young kids don’t know shit). Either the Patriots and Tom Brady are one of the greatest teams every assembled or they suck and they cheat. 

Often times, two ideas are allowed to exist in the same reality. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In other words, The Patriots are allowed to be a great team and also be known for cheating. Obama is allowed to be a very measured, thoughtful and intelligent president but also divisive.

Here’s the big one: We can disagree with one another and still respect one another. And beyond that, two people are allowed to have different viewpoints on life and still be right. 

There’s too much emphasis placed on convincing people that we’re right and they’re wrong — instead of listening to one another. There’s too much emphasis on all or nothing.

This means that nobody is allowed to have an opinion and speak their mind on it and then get new information and subsequently change their mind based on that new information.

We’ve got to move past this either or mentality and accept the complexities of life and more importantly people. There’s always a time to hunker down and say enough is enough, but that time doesn’t need to be all the time. 

 

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