Have you noticed that lately the people you follow on social media, the people we see on TV, our leaders, and even our friends, family and neighbors are all shrieking about how WRONG anyone is who doesn’t agree with them on things? We are living in tumultuous times for sure, and everyone is certain they are thinking correctly and anyone who doesn’t think like they do is 100% wrong!!

Hopefully, some of you are trying to meet folks in the middle and understand why they so vehemently believe they are the only ones who are correct the way that I am. This is the outlook I’ve been trying to take and it has made me revisit a program concept I developed many years ago to help businesses and organizations develop better understanding and promote team building. This program helps us recognize the difference in our personal filters in regard to how we see the world.

It’s easier than you think…but also far more eye opening than expected. Indulge me for a moment and spend a moment allowing your mind to wander back in time to a point in history when you were between the ages of 4 and 6 years old. I’ll pause here because it may take some of us a bit to peel back the decades and reach that time in our lives again……………………..

OK – now then, I want you to think about a few items from that time in your life. I want you to try and recall when you were that age who used to have the job of mowing the grass around your home? Was it your mother’s job? Your father’s? Did someone else tend to the landscape responsibilities when you were that young? Whose job was it? Now, there is not a right or wrong answer to this, because every family is different and everyone of us had a different home environment growing up as well. But, for the point I’m trying to make, let’s assume in your home it was your father’s job to mow the grass, and as far as you can recall he always took care of the grass. Now, I need you to indulge me a bit more, let’s now pretend that you are able to go spend a day at a friend’s house, it’s one of the first times you’ve been given this opportunity (remember you’re only 4 or 5 years old). When you arrive at your friend’s house, there in the front yard is their mother MOWING THE GRASS!! Now, I am not suggesting that this was a life changing moment for any of us, but for the first time in your life, your “filter” shifted in regard to how the grass gets mowed at everyone’s home. For the first time it was demonstrated that someone else could have that responsibility. Not earth shattering at all, but a great way to demonstrate how we begin to acknowledge that different people handle household responsibilities differently.

I want you to think about some of these other tasks: answering with mom, dad, or someone else

  • Who took out the garbage?
  • Who did the grocery shopping?
  • Who made dinner each day?
  • Who drove when you went on a car trip?

Next week we will dive in a bit more in what these very basic memories can demonstrate to us regarding our outlook and perspective, and how if we just consider these simplistic differences we might be able to meet others in the middle and help mend this great divide in our country. Have a great week!!!