By Leo Babauta
The country I live in has a pretty bitter divide between many of its people, and I’ll admit that it often feels hopeless to me.
If you don’t live in the U.S., I’m sure you can see a similar divide in your country as well: People judging each other, angry and fearful, feeling very little understanding and compassion.
We’re all doing it, and blaming the other side.
So what can we do to heal this divide?
For me, the answer lies in compassion. Compassion for others in our country, and in the world, who are suffering. Compassion for our neighbors, for people who have different views, for people who are afraid and who just want a good life. Compassion for ourselves as we try to make our way through a difficult situation.
But compassion is difficult right now, so just telling people to have compassion doesn’t work. The problem is that our views about who is right and wrong is getting in the way of compassion and healing the divide.
So the real key to this is in setting aside our views and setting aside being right. The real key to healing this divide is letting go of what we think we know.
It’s only when we let go of what we think we know that we can be curious about the other side. Try to understand why they do what they do, why they feel the way they feel. Try to step into their world, and get them.
It’s only when we let go of our knowing and step into not knowing that we can really see their side, and feel compassion for them.
Once we do that, the compassion can come and the healing can begin.
Set aside what we think we know.
Open to not knowing how things should be. Open to curiosity about their side.
Open to feeling compassion for what they’re going through.
Let’s connect with each other, and come together.