Taking Sides

I have a son who is very careful not to take sides on an issue or make decisions about things before he does some research and considers the facts from both sides or perspectives on any given issue, whether it is a personal choice or situation presented to him or a news story or more of a political issue.  I am very proud of him for that and wish more people would do that.  It seems nowadays that there is a growing need for everyone to take a side on every issue whether they know the facts or not.  There is very little middle ground anymore, and it seems too many people are not willing to hear anyone else’s perspective other than their own.

I find this to be true not only with political issues and news stories that receive national attention but also in my personal life.  There ARE two sides to every story. Sometimes one side has much more validity to it, but there is still the other side to at least consider.  I do try to see both sides of a situation whenever possible and not just automatically take one particular side or the other, and sometimes I don’t take anyone’s side at all.  It should be OK to feel neutral or indifferent about an issue or see at least some of the validity to both sides of a situation and consider what each person might have been thinking or feeling, which in turn caused them to behave a certain way.  It is always easier to do this though when you are looking in on someone else’s situation vs. being in the middle of your own.

It is not humanly possible for one person to always be right and never make mistakes or contribute negatively to situation, but there are people I know who think along these lines.  It is very difficult to get them to see that at least sometimes they are part of the problem.  And when they don’t realize they are part of the problem, they can’t be part of the solution.  Instead, they blame everyone but themselves for their situation and expect everyone else to change without being willing to do anything differently themselves. This often leads to a downward spiral of negativity and makes positive change very unlikely.

The same can be said for the bigger issues.  We can’t make progress if the majority of people grab onto one or the other end of a rope and tug on it as hard as possible.   We need to not be so quick to take sides to begin with until we have gathered enough information to make an informed choice, and we need to be willing to be open minded enough to sometimes admit that maybe we don’t always make the best decisions or that our perspective or perception of the situation isn’t always the right one or in some cases, the only one.

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