Listening & Embracing the Ugliness

As this election season quickly approaches, there are some things that are important to consider. Although everyone has their freedom to vote as they choose, there are some issues that transcend political lines – they are human issues, not political issues.

A lot of people are so busy defending their party that they don’t take the time to hear other perspectives. They forget that every decision, every policy, every action step affects real humans and real families, in the states or abroad.

I’ve witnessed the power of dialogue. A lot of people think that talking through issues is a weak initiative. However,  it is one of the strongest moves anyone can make, especially if all parties are genuinely listening to the heart of what’s being shared and an action plan to move forward is explored after the conversation.

When people come together, share their opinions, and most importantly, listen to “the other side,” progress can be made. A lot of the time, people from differing parties are saying very similar things, but are shouting so loud that they never take time to listen and hear the other out.

When you choose to listen,  it’s important to embrace the ugliness and messiness of all perspectives.

In other words, as decent human beings, we should all agree that there is something beautiful that happens when someone can own up to their imperfections. However, somehow that has not translated into politics. People refuse to admit the wrongs and flaws with their respective political party or with America as a whole. Nevertheless, the bigger picture, flaws and all, is essential for a holistic and well-rounded narrative.

For example, you can admit that both Israel and Palestine could make better decisions and  still be pro-one country or the other. You can admit that #blacklivesmatter could use a more central leader to bring greater clarity to the movement and  still fight for racial justice. You can admit that both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have some major issues and  still vote. You can admit that America was founded on genocide and slavery and  still be patriotic to a degree. And heck, Jesus knew that we were all sinners and  still loved us to the point of death.

It’s not always “either or.” Issues with this country are not nearly that simple. It’s healthy to acknowledge the complexities and  messiness of it all without oversimplification.

That’s when real change can be made – when you embrace the ugliness, own up to it, broaden your focus to human lives and not just political parties, and still stand up for what’s right to you. That’s maturity. That’s beautiful. That’s what can happen in the weeks leading up to November 2016 if America chooses to intentionally listen.

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