Put those other shoes on.

15 02 2016

“Travel is one of the best anti-war weapons that there are.  I’ve been to Iran, and if you’re there, you see little kids, cops, old people, cemeteries.  Once you see that, you can’t say ‘Oh, Iran, let’s bomb them’” ~Viggo Mortensen

Today’s quote simply speaks walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.  This is especially needed in a year of such political polarization.  Don’t forget that the Republican or Democrat that you are demeaning is a person, with most likely a wide variety of opinions about a wide range of topics.  They’re not a cookie-cutter thinker.  They might even vote both sides of the aisle, depending on the issue, versus the party line.

As leaders, when you find yourself on opposite sides of an argument/debate with someone, it’s possible that you’ll be thinking something like “how could they think that”, or “why are they out to get me”?  Instead of thinking that, open the lines of dialog with an “I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from.  Tell me why you’re taking this position, because I’m probably missing something.”  Alternately, reach out to a third party who might see both sides, and ask them to explain their perspective.  This allows them to take off their shoes, and let you walk around in them for a while.  You’d be amazed how you can see things differently from a different pair of shoes.

Speaking of bombs…

Pbomb

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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