Same, But Different
The other day, I was reminded of a very valuable lesson that most of us learn as children and then forget to use later in life.
Let’s imagine that you and a colleague disagree about something. You have a choice; you can get angry and annoyed, or remember that you’re actually both on the same team, and work to find a common goal instead.
Think about the ongoing "negotiations" between the U.S. and North Korea. Neither country wants nuclear war, and both parties are on “team human”. Failure to see this could result very poorly for all of humanity. Whatever communications take place should be putting this mutual goal very clearly on the table, so that both countries can find acceptable terms.
The campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” increasingly makes me cringe because while we call ourselves the United States, it seems that America has become stubbornly divided, incapable of imagining common ground. The “Nationalism” that Trump supporters strongly rally behind, seemingly and gleefully excludes the other half of the country.
The true master of the “art of the deal” isn’t the person who gets the most off the table from the other guy, but the one who is superior at finding common ground.
There are plenty of things America can and should improve without politicizing. For example:
Improving trains and highways
More affordable childcare
True separation of church and state
More humane care for the elderly and sick
Imagine the color the trees would make from the window as you travel smoothly from New York to Washington on a maglev train moving 370 mph. Think how comforting it would feel to pick your child up from the local daycare without also stressing about how you will pay for the car you're driving.
A Great America would see that issues like these are best solved by remembering we are on the same team. Sadly, I think we’ve forgotten how to find common ground in our beautiful country. We’ve forgotten this very fundamental lesson that although we are different, we are in many ways, the same.
The greatest leaders I can think of, always put what’s best for their country above what’s best for themselves. I love America, but today I think we’ve got our priorities backwards. Let's try our best to remember.