Human Stories

Dialogues in Polarized times

I see so much polarization and separation happening when it comes to difference in opinion regarding Covid measures. I mediate family members, close friends and life partners that are breaking up due to different opinions regarding vaccination.
So many conflicts are happening within and between countries and governments regarding Covid measures.

How to navigate a dialogue when we have difference in opinion? How to stay connected while thinking differently what is the good thing to do? 

Below I like to share some of my thoughts around it:

Navigating in an interconnected world: 

I feel so much compassion to why people feel so strongly about Covid measures. Underneath, we all hold very important Needs we want to protect:
– We all deeply want to protect our health and the health of our loved ones.
– We all want choice in regard to what we put in our body.
– Many of us are worried about the direct effect lockdown can have on our financial or family situation.
– Many are afraid to be put as minority, sidelined from society, being judged and scorned.
– Many fear if the situation would get worse with more and more covid variants to deal with.
– Many doubt whether the information in the news is precise. We all want to make informed choices.
– etc.etc.etc…

I feel compassion to the powerlessness people feel when governments make decisions that have such impact on our lives.
And I feel compassion to governments and politicians who are being harshly judged no matter what they choose. They are held responsible for taking care of all people, while people have many different opinions as how and what it means to be taken care of…

Covid brought (back) the clarity that we are living in an interdependent world-  The choices of others have a direct effect on us. Which is the natural state of life: a person cutting trees in Brazil has direct impact on the amount of oxygen there is in Moscow. A variant that is mutating in India has a quick and direct effect on a woman having her Resturant being closed in Iran, etc.

I have the sense that culturally we are not very skilled in the Art of living interdependence.
What really saddens my heart is any sense of separation: When having different opinions, I see most people go into dynamics of: Trying to convince, defending, withdrawing or fighting. And while doing it, we separate: On a deep human level, in the experience itself, in the quality of cooperation: We separate. In the dialogue itself we feel alone and as a community we split into opposing groups.

I am not God yet:
If there is one thing I am quite clear about it’s that I don’t know for sure what is good or bad for the long term. I am not God yet. I do not have the capacity to absolutely know what is good/bad for the long term. I am quite sure that there is not one person on the planet who can know FOR SURE whether vaccination is good/bad for the long term. Any choice carries a risk and is an adventure we take into the unknown.
I feel much compassionate toward anyone with whatever decision they make.

Dialogue beyond opinions
As I see it, a dialogue about opinions is a dialogue that runs on a superficial layer: All opinions (for example: “Everyone should be vaccinated”) are merely a an idea as to HOW to (hopefully) care for something that deeply matters to us (for example: protecting people from dying). I want to go one layer deeper to meet in the core essence of what is important to us. It is there that we are partners.

Dilemma ≠ Conflict (and war): 
Life is full of dilemmas that I have no idea of how to navigate. In the dilemma, we are together; we both want to choice and to care for people we love not to die. Conflict is happening in the HOW WE SPEAK our Dilemma:
Person A: you should be vaccinated, you are a murderer if you don’t
Person B: people like you are fascists. We are living in Democracy. You should go to jail.

I am not willing to play the game of separation. I want to be partners in an interdependent world walking together in an adventure into the unknown.

Together with few other dear friends who are touched by the same matter, we organize a free session: “Connecting in difference regarding Covid measures” to practice and experience an awareness I so wish to share and live. 

More details about this session and how to join, you can click here: Link

With much hope for a deep sense of togetherness,