Saturday, January 9, 2016
No offense - easier said than done.
Today something really great happened. A man that I know, only a little, came up to me at the market and told me that I had really offended him. That's not the great part. I get no joy from making someone else feel badly. It seems to be part of the package when you are trying to effect change. There are humans behind systems and humans have feelings. When I do offend, unnecessarily, I try to correct it if I can. It won't always be possible.
The great part was that he came up to me, in private, and spoke to me, face to face. That took courage and kindness. It got a little heated, but ultimately we were able to hear each other out. We shook hands and walked away as two human beings with a little more understanding and mutual respect.
Had this gentleman not addressed me, had we swept this under the rug, we both would have harbored resentment and never would have realized how much common ground there was between us.
I really don't see conflict as divisive. Every great invention, work of art, social movement and positive change is proceeded by conflict. The question is, how do we learn to hear each other out.
I keep saying it, but this is why I am so thrilled with our local paper, Lighthouse Now. They are talking about things which have been unmentionable until recently. These are real issues to real people. These are issues that affect the growth of our province. We can grow resentments or we can grow as a province. I'm trying for the latter.