I have noticed an odd phenomenon that is happening more lately. I’m sure you’ve noticed it too. It’s extremes. What I mean is that people are being pushed into being labeled as one extreme or another.
We have many biases, prejudices, and beliefs about others that can cause us to see them as we believe them to be, instead of seeing them for who they actually are. We learn one thing about them, and we instantly jump to conclusions about what we think we know about them.
A simple example would be this past election. If you are a strong Democrat, and you saw a Trump sign or sticker, didn’t your mind jump to conclusions about that person? The opposite is also true. A strong Republican will see a Biden sign and feel that they know everything they need to know about that person. What if there is common ground between you and that other person? What if, despite disagreeing on some very significant issues that separate these two parties, they actually share many of the same values and beliefs?
Enough about politics! How about things like religion, science, and healthcare?
As a natural healthcare provider, I have people ask me questions that often start with the words, “I know you don’t believe in medicine, but…” Being a holistic-minded, natural-oriented doctor is often associated with being anti-medicine. Do you think that chiropractors, acupuncturists, and naturopaths are anti-medicine? This is an important question, because it may dictate whether you listen to or ever visit these types of healthcare providers. Can you strive for the safest, most natural means of managing your health, yet utilize mainstream medical care for specific issues? Of course! I have a primary care provider, I have utilized medical care myself, and I regularly work in conjunction with medical doctors.
In this time of a pandemic, it appears that if you question the validity or efficacy of something we are being told, you get shoved to the far side, and may be treated like you don’t believe the virus exists, or that it is a hoax. Personally, I believe this pandemic has been handled terribly on all fronts. The CDC, Dr. Fauci, and many governors have been inconsistent with their information, have flipped on certain stances, and have lost the confidence of millions. The reliability of testing has been inconsistent, and statistics have been poorly reported. And those that believe the vaccine will protect them from the virus and end the pandemic haven’t heard Dr. Fauci state clearly that the vaccine will only prevent symptoms, not block the virus (yahoo.com).
This is another example of being somewhere in the middle… acknowledging that there is a virus, it is taking lives, and that we do have to be concerned about those that are most vulnerable, while also saying that shutdowns are not the answer, and that it’s hard to trust those giving orders.
Because someone believes one thing does not put them in an all-or-nothing camp. And since most extremes of any issue are just that… extreme, you might need to rethink your position if you are on the far end of almost any issue. To shut someone out fully because they think a certain way about a certain thing could be catastrophic. As I pointed out above, we will likely agree more than we disagree when it comes to many areas.
Make sure you don’t assume others are on one end or the other just because they believe some things. And make sure are not limiting yourself by avoiding that middle.