Nobody Wins

If you don't have empathy for the other side, then you've already lost.

If you don't understand your opponent's point of view, then you're bound to repeat the same mistakes.

If you're telling them that they should go cry in their corner, then you're part of the problem.

If there's anything we've learned in the United States these past few months, it's that there is a desperate need for us to listen to each other.

I grew up in a Democratic family.

When Trump won in 2016, everyone I knew was furious. I was worried too. My best friend is Muslim, I was concerned about what Trump would do to immigration and climate policies, I was scared that everything I believed in was threatened.

But then I talked with a few friends who had voted for Trump. They were reasonable, good people. They weren't racist, they believed climate change was real, they were willing to have calm conversations. But most importantly they were willing to hear me out.

They just explained that they were scared. They were afraid that if the vote didn't go their way then their life would be threatened.

We're all just afraid.

And things quickly become scarier when you feel like the very people that you feel threatened by aren't listening. When they don't care, it only reinforces your fears.

The last thing anyone who's afraid needs to hear is "Shut up and deal with it."

If you invalidate the other person's fear, you exacerbate it.

If people don't feel heard, they'll do anything to make sure you pay attention at one point or another.

Why do you think Trump resonates with so many people? He's the only one who seems to be listening to them, acknowledging their anguish and voicing their discontents.

Whether you voted Democrat or Republican. Whether you're from the US or abroad. Whether you're Jewish, Muslim, straight, gay, black, white, it's your duty to stop thinking you have an enemy who is so different from you.

No one wins if we aren't listening to each other.

And that doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. Disagreement is healthy. Great decisions and ideas arise when people with opposing views sit in the same room together and discuss amicably. 

It just means that you have to be willing to reach across the table. To open up a conversation with someone who you may not see eye to eye with. To accept your differences but look for your similarities. To not be so fast to react. To not stomp on those who you think you've defeated.

To remember that if you came from where they're from, if you grew up with the family they grew up with, if you experienced what they experienced, you would be them.

There are no winners and losers.

We either all win or we all lose.

And winning starts with listening.

It begins with empathy.

PS - In non-politically related news, we are launching the new season of Yes Theory this Sunday, November 8th! 7 episodes in 7 weeks! The adventures are absolutely insane. We just uploaded the trailer which you can watch here.

Love,

Matt




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