Communicating Through Our Differences with Intention


Healthcare, DADCA, nuclear war, taxes, hurricanes, flooding, childcare, human trafficking, job stability, aging parents, opioid crisis and the list goes on. We're up against a bolder that doesn't seem to be moving out of the way anytime soon.

There are a lot of mixed feelings in our political climate and as it turns out, in some of our social circles and at the dinner tables. The emotions range from fear and anger to bliss and joyfulness. It’s a drastic difference. With or without intention, the new administration has deepened the groove in an already divisive country.

We’re all pointing the finger in blame. We're passionate about our beliefs and values. Some people believe that their view point is the cure-all, be-all.

All of it has spread a nasty virus through our tight office spaces, and communities. Some family members haven’t spoken to one another since the election. Yes, seriously. People are so heavily vested that relationships have soured over the debate.

Beyond the blame, beyond the anger, beyond the fear, beyond the bliss there is something bigger brewing here. People are waking up. We are taking a greater interest in what’s happening and how it will affect future generations.

No one can predict the outcome of it all. But one key fact is that the majority of our country is very much attached to the process and the outcome. People care.

And with that, no matter which side of the isle you reside, the passion matters. This indicates that people haven’t given up. Folks are still believing in and pushing for something, regardless if others agree with their politics or philosophies.

I’m grateful that I don’t live in a country where people are indifferent. Pushing for a cause can be inspirational. What isn’t inspiring is when groups attempt to denounce others and disconnect from humanity.

America has issues and it affects us all. We must learn how to discuss loading issues such as racism and classism. We can’t let the fiery passion of one group to break down our ability to communicate.

Having an opinion, asking lots of questions and sharing those thoughts are all healthy ways of expressing ones self. It can be a positive experience if we could, again, communicate with intention and attention.

Communicating through our differences with intention | ProjectHEARDI have many opportunities to speak with colleagues who share different political and religious beliefs than me. The conversations never get rambunctious or uneasy. There are lots of questions, with the intention of accomplishing a better understanding of each other. One question, “What’s the most important issue facing you and your family?” appears to open up an instant human connection. When we can understand each other on a humanistic level, the nonsensical element of unhelpful bantering dissipates.

This one question can give you a glimpse into a persons life, their needs and desires for their family. As an example, one friend moved to the U.S. in her early 20’s. Without any money or job, she became a citizen and learned the language and found her way into college. Today, well into her 60’s she is a successful businesswoman with four children and a sizable bank account.

She is concerned about welfare reform. Her view is that she had nothing and made her way to America to succeed. She learned to survive and she wonders why other able-bodied men and women can’t do the same. She questions if our country provides too much of a safety net for people who can work but would rather collect a check from the government. I understand her point and why she’s so passionate about her political stance.

Sometimes during heated discussions, it’s helpful to one, appreciate one’s interest in social issues and two, ask them why they feel the way they do. Use your intention and attention. This isn’t the time to avoid talking about it, it’s the perfect time to discuss such topics and try to better comprehend what seems to be incomprehensible.

Raquel Eatmon is the CEO of Rising Media LLC and Founder of Project Heard and Woman of Power Conference. She enjoys hiking and is a fan of cupcakes and breathing. Follow @RaquelEatmon

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