We live in an upside down world.
The divide between people seems to be getting wider each day. The politics of Canada and the United States both show this widening chasm.
While I have seen plenty of analysis on this widening polarity, from the widening gap between the rich and poor, to the rhetoric of politicians, to the coming of an end time – here is an idea that may need more thought.
We often live off what other people know. An expert is necessary to guide us through the shoals of life. A nice way to say that is, someone who knows more than us can help us with our problems.
In previous years we attempted to listen to all sides of a question and seek the best answer. We knew the heart of the expert and we weighed that against the answers. You could be worth your weight in gold or mere salt in the wound. But at least we knew both sides.
Nowadays we seem to have polarized on where we get our knowledge and information. Stephen Hawking or Lady Gaga can give us an expert rendition of truth. Or we can turn to the person on the ground – the plumber or the electrician who dispenses truth with alacrity. In the case of seniors this would be the coffee row talk – for younger generations this would be social media sites.
Slowly we have been sucked into the vortex of our favourite news and information sites. If we check our browser history we will find one side favoured. We fear the extremes and feel that collaboration will lead to a loss of purity and truth.
Two events this past week struck me!
I was attending a one day session on Flourishing Churches. One of the greatest remedies offered for the demise in church attendance was dialogue. Dialogue was described, not as compromise or negotiation, but as an understanding of that which we hold in common. From this platform we can act together. Where there are deep differences, we are free to act separately.
As I prepared an article on a recent evening session in the region – 13 Ways to Kill a Community with Doug Griffiths – I heard attendees mention the need for collaboration. An RM needs a town, a town needs other towns, people need each other. Thriving, more than just surviving, requires working together. Regional councils are welcomed in this approach, instead of stand alone, act separately committees.
When we don’t know each other, our knowledge is scattered and incomplete. The more we know of each other, the more our knowledge is wide ranging. When the range is wide open and full of grasses, you can pick and chose your food. When you restrict the range to a section of sparse grass, the food becomes scarce, the nutrition level decreases and stress increases.
I’d rather be on the other side of the fence – enjoying the knowledge of many rather than the short-sightedness of only a few.
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