Empathy, the missing key

I encourage you to consider your belief system around those who are different than you.  It’s ok, we all stereotype, it’s an evolutionary response.  Awareness starts you on the path to eliminate these response thoughts, but you have to know they exist and actively work to change them.

Pushing out of your comfort zone has as much to do with challenging your belief system as it does with physical or interpersonal activities.  What value do you derive when you assume a stereotype about a person based on gender, sexuality, or ethnicity, for example?  If you start to look at these response thoughts in terms of what they bring to your life, you may find that they don’t serve you.

Be open to question how or why you view certain groups of people in a specific way.  What is the underlying reason you see them that way?  What emotions do you experience when thinking about that group of people?  Are you open to letting these feelings go?

How about looking at a situation from someone else's perspective.  Have you given empathy a try?  

According to Arlie Russell Hochschild, "Feelings and empathy open a deeper level of thinking."  This election cycle has demonstrated, more than ever, how divided a nation we are.  It's time we unite, open our minds to other perspectives and learn to listen. Discord and difference are healthy.  It's learning how to have productive exchanges of information, where both parties feel heard that as a nation, we need to strive to.