Let’s be honest for a minute, we all have absolutes; we can all be immovable in some of our views; we have familiar ways we conduct ourselves, belief systems we were either born into, or have adapted and developed over time; we have lives based on intentional choices and/or reactions to things we have no control over; we have things which are black and white for us. And that is okay.
Absolutes are not wrong. Being black and white about things is not wrong, as long as we have enough grace to acknowledge the validity of other people’s beliefs and absolutes when they differ from ours. We don’t have to agree with them to honour the truth that they have just as much right as we do to have their own perspectives about life, health and humanity and be able to create safe places where we can converse about things that matter, respectfully, in a quest to better understand and walk alongside each other.
There are exceptions, of course. When there is blatant aggression, harmful rhetoric and belief systems which are intentionally or actively doing harm to others – but this too can be hard to measure at times. There are times when we have to take a stand and call out ‘anti’, controlling and abusive behaviour, but we have to understand at the same time that these beliefs are never formed in a vacumn.
Sometimes they are learned, from a young age; sometimes they are connected to the community someone has been raised in or adopted into; sometimes it is based on their own experiences or those of people they love; sometimes they were born out of manipulation, trauma or pain. The only way we know this is by allowing ourselves to have uncomfortable conversations, because the why matters.
The ‘Anti’ and ‘Pro’ labels on any issue or agenda are rarely helpful, and rarely accurate. Few people are extremely one or the other, it is only through genuine, honest and respectful conversations with people who may hold different beliefs or perspectives that we may find unity in assumed or politicised disunity. Harmful rhetoric and divisive behaviour motivated by these contentious issues swallows the truth whole, and only serves to further damage already fragmented and hurting communities.
Isn’t it time we disallow the politicising of heart and health issues? Isn’t it time we actively choose to listen to each other? Isn’t it time we choose to put love first; ask the deep questions and be willing to listen to each other without the constant need to formulate our next argument to solidify our authority or rightness. And listen without personal or political agenda.
Isn’t it time we remembered that there is no them and us. There is only us.
Our power resides in our unity.
Vanessa is the author of four restorative novels, which celebrate strong
women and the victorious way they overcome the things which were designed to destroy them. Find out more on www.vanessaevetts.com