Why can’t we just get along?

By G Dickson- Why can’t we just get along? We live in an age when we have many tools and opportunities for communication and self expression. Yet, in my experience we do not use these tools to gain a deeper sense of each other. Our connection tools become weaponized when infused with intolerance, projection and blame.

I for one, thought there should be easier to gain deeper insights and understanding. That this could translate into greater opportunities to connect and converse which would result in greater harmony.

Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong and naive.

The problem isn’t the tool, social media apps and services hold great potential for connection, communicating and creating a greater sense of community. A hammer can be used to build a fence, break a window or used to commit assault. The hammer holds all that potential, it all comes down to the person using the hammer, their intentions.

This is what can make social media so toxic and painful. We can begin from a good space and then someone comes along and does something that triggers a fight or flight response. Emotions, projections, blame and judgement abound and rationale flys out the window. We begin chasing emotions instead of discussing ideas and debating perspectives.

We step onto toxic ground when our need to be right causes us to forget our humanity.

We are *all* born and we all die.

What lies in between birth and death is the Messy Middle.

We all share a planet together. It’s better when we get along. Yet, we struggle to get along. We’ve forgotten that the person who we are struggling to accept is also human. A flawed, perfectly imperfect fellow homo sapien. Struggling to figure out how to get comfortable in their own skin. That is the shared human experience. Yet we do not tolerate differences well.

Which is sad. You’d think that if there was anyone on the planet who could understand what another human being is going through, it would be another human being. Right? Not necessarily.

We humans have a nasty habit of biting the hand of our fellow man. We act more like rabid dogs when faced with another flawed human being. We get an over-inflated sense of self importance. We become self involved. We forget that not one of us would be here without our parents, friends and teachers.

We learn together, live together and yet we struggle to get along with one another. Why?

We allow our differences to seperate us from the frail nature of our humanity and the need to work together. Which is where our true potential to grow and fully inhabit our lives dies or flourishes.

Because if we don’t learn how to get along, to at least hear each other out, our differences become divisive. Everyone looses and the chasm gets wider and wider.

Then eventually our differences become so huge it becomes impossible to overlook. We become obsessed with our need to be right. This is when we can become intolerant, hurt and angry. Then we lash out instead of listening. We get bitter and chase our need to get even instead listening or moving on or letting go.

Holding onto caustic attitudes is like throwing hot coals at someone and expecting they will get burned. We end up burning ourselves.

Be kind, be patient and seek to understand. If you can’t agree at least you’ll have tried and in my view that is what makes us human.