Can We Agree to Disagree?

The Power of Perception

I love Quora. In fact, I am grateful that there is a site where anyone can ask about anything and the people of the “Net” are gracious enough to answer. I’ve shared things. I’ve learned things.

Today, someone asked a question that hit a nerve. The question was “Why do people make a big deal out of what seems like nothing?

Great question. It was unfortunate though the deeper explanation used an article the writer found on Facebook that had a very controversial reaction to a woman’s rape.  Most of the answers focused on that example. Only one of the many replies looked beyond that incendiary example.

I want to share how I responded. This is specifically because we have a polar world. It’s black or white. Gray is not an option. Middle grounds no longer exist. I heard a well-known television celeb say we have lost the art of conversation. I add we’ve lost the ability to debate.

So my answer:

Your question is about perception. However, you chose an inflammatory and emotional example, which got the focus.

Your premise that folks make “mountains out of molehills” and the fact that you are reacting to what comes across your Facebook tells me that you may need a wider lens to view the world. Facebook, at best, is skewed based on its algorithms to present to you what you seem interested in.

Now perception, what is a molehill to you may be a mountain to another. Each of us has a different lens to view the world. This lens is made up of experiences, learnings, people in your life, culture, politics and so much more. Read the story about rose-colored glasses to see how an optimist sees the world.

I’ve done an exercise with my team. I hold up my hand and ask, “What do you see?” First responses are always, “Your hand.” I say get more specific and then the answers vary. The right answer? They see the palm of my hand. I see the back of my hand. We all see the same hand, just different aspects.

Be aware of the prejudices. Rejoice in the differences. Grow from the greater understanding.

So what do you think? Have we lost the ability to “agree to disagree?” If so, how do we get it back?


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