Seeing the good in those I disagree with

As I reflect on the fallout from the General Election I am finding the need to remind myself of the importance of always looking to see the good in others — even if I can’t see it in their ideas and opinions.

It is a beautiful and freeing place to be able to see beauty, goodness, and humanity in all people — even politicians! — and to be able to critique ideas without the blinkering distraction of hate or bitterness about the person or people I disagree with.

There are, of course, some politicians with completely selfish motives, but most MP’s, from all political persuasians, are I am convinced genuine people who genuinely want to have a positive impact on our country.

There are bad eggs no doubt, but the vast majority aren’t. It doesn’t mean they’re beyond having some terrible ideas, but it does mean I have to avoid always assuming terrifying motives behind every policy idea I don’t agree with.

In my experience the world works so much better when I assume the best about people, take time to try and understand the world from the perspective of the other, and respect the other person as a person no matter what.

This doesn’t mean I can’t reject their ideas or what they stand for when I disagree vehemently — I should and I do — but I must find a way to do so without hate, bitterness, or lazily labelling someone or a group of people as evil, scum, moronic, leftie, socialist, or whatever.

Dehumanising those I disagree with ends up hurting me, not the other.

This can be hard to do, really hard sometimes. By I keep reminding myself to keeping doing this. I mustn’t allow myself to ever dehumanise a fellow human being with cheap, lazy labels. It also protects me from becoming blinkered by retreating into tribalism.

Tribalism sends me backwards and into a worldview that is defined and constrained by dualism. Everything then can only be understood in the framework of us or them, good or bad, in or out. I lose any ability to embrace nuance. I become a black and white fundamentalist. I can only see one way or another and lose my capacity to even fathom the perspective of someone from a different side or tribe.

And this doesn’t help me. This reduces me.

Hence my desire to make sure I always seek to see the good in others, take the time to truly understand where they come from, be slow to make judgement, and be quick to show grace.

Prince Charles letters to government ministers are no big deal

Human rights aren’t being abolished!