July 2016 1
You’ve felt it. I think we all feel it. We’re a nation, a world in pain.
With everything that’s been going on, especially with so much thrust into the media spotlight – politics, social injustices and downright tragedies – so too, has come much divide.
Whatever the motive or intent, this new wave of public pontificating seems like it’s generating more negativity and separation than helping anyone find any common ground. It feels like it’s helping to loosen the fabric of humanity one little thread at a time.
But I think through small acts, we can repair that fabric. We can come together and remember how to find and respect the value of each other regardless of our beliefs and opinions. So, I’m proposing practicing a daily #admiration.
By that I mean actively and consciously looking outside of ourselves and finding at least one quality in another that we admire. It can be someone you know well — your dad or mom, your brother or sister, your grandma. Or it can be someone you don’t know all that well — the cashier at the grocery store, the fisherman on the beach, the lady jamming out in her car during traffic, the guy on the corner creatively tossing that billboard sign to try to get you to come to his business. Anyone. If you make an effort to find it, there is at least one quality in every human being out there that you can admire.
The real challenge comes in trying to find a quality to admire in someone you struggle to agree with, have had or actively have conflict with, or just plain dislike. Take a look at that politician you can’t stand, that neighbor who blares that awful music late at night, that random person on social media you’ve been sparring with. They’ve all go value too. No human being is one-dimensional. There are redeeming qualities in each of us. Every person you’ve come across will at some point feel the some of the same emotions you have, experience some of the same things as you. Just because we may disagree doesn’t mean we should willingly overlook the value a person has and what they add to this world.
Now, once you’ve found that quality to admire, why not share it? Share that you admire how great someone else is at doing something or how you admire a specific trait of their personality. Call that person and tell them, email them or post it on social media. It’ll make someone else feel special, and it puts positive content and good will out into the world.
Please understand that I am in no way suggesting that we stop paying attention to the issues plaguing our society; I just simply think we could do more to remember that every single one of us has value no matter what we personally think or feel about one another.
Maybe if we try to embrace that value, make it a habit of looking for the value in others, we can strengthen our communities and repair some of this divide.
A bit of a pipe dream, I realize, but I’m going to do this. I’m going to practice a daily admiration, and I’d love for you to join me.