Crossing the divide

The ‘them’ and ‘us’ divide happens all too easily. It happens within families, organisations, countries and political parties; it happens between generations, income groups, genders – and football supporters. The list could go on.

Think of someone or a group of people you think of as different from you. The differences could be in attitude, behaviour, or anything else.

With honesty, identify whether you are thinking of yourself as superior to the other person or group in those differences. Yes, being mindful is painful at times!

Now choose to take time to identify how that person or group are in fact “just like you”. Again, no-one said being mindful is easy just that it is worthwhile! Yes there are differences: we are not trying to disregard these. Instead we are seeking to get a better perspective or balance by being intentional in noticing how that person or group are similar to us.

This practice helps bridge the divide; it begins to break down the ‘them’ and ‘us’ divide. It has the potential to bring us together for a shared purpose, making it a better world.

For me the practice resonates with a Scripture I aspire to live by: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God. (Aspire here means I am only at the start of the journey!)

Recognising that others are in some ways “just like me” opens the door for compassion, an attribute which might make an even bigger difference to living than a vaccine!

This is Mindful Monday on 16 November 2020.

Join a virtual mindfulness session on zoom tonight at 7 pm (UK time). For details email hello@essencecheltenham.org

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