Ripples #1272: Look Up!


A new perspective may be waiting for you…remember to look up.
-Debra Solomon, written and shared by Debra in Wisconsin (whose random decision to try a new route on her usual drive between work and home radically improved an otherwise ordinary moment)


Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness. Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience. Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter.
-June Jordan, shared via James Clear


This week’s news included an ever-deepening mess around government funding, political leadership, and that pesky, ever-widening gap in affective polarization (not just a difference in how people of different political perspectives view certain issues, but a disturbing increase in the rate of how much we hate the other side).

The bad news is that there is no immediate end in sight, and things are likely to get worse before they start getting better. The good news is that despite all this polarization, there are still plenty of places (schools, workplaces, community organizations, etc.) where people of divergent political view points are able to come together and focus on a commonly held mission, purpose, and/or meaning.

Plenty of times we do this by ignoring our differences or even pretending like they don’t exist. I occasionally use these strategies myself and I can see why they are helpful: they avoid that pesky cognitive dissonance that pops up when we realize someone we _______ (like, respect, trust, etc.) is one of “those people” or has certain views that are vastly different than our own.

AND: I think sometimes it can be useful to Look Up! Noticing the differences that exist among some of our friends, classmates, neighbors, and coworkers reminds us of our shared humanity, and it might make it easier to have some of the challenging conversations and actions that need to take place before we can find out way back to cooperating on some of the big stuff that we need to focus on.


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