For many of us as change agents who tend to have a preference for harmony and idealize a world without conflict, the increasing amounts of polarization we are witnessing today are distressing.
Yet if we are to respect the fact that, without exception, uncomfortable challenges serve our evolution both individually and collectively, what truth and opportunity might this divisiveness provide?
While I’ve worked to find a relatively neutral news source, I’ve also taken on the practice of reading both liberal and conservative news sources to try to understand each point of view. It’s been eye-opening to see the distinctly different realities portrayed.
Each faction is encouraged to get outraged over events and investigations that never even get reported in the news delivered to other factions, so I have been gaining greater understanding about why each faction is offended by the representatives of the other factions.
It has really hit home for me how much we depend on the perspective of others for our beliefs about reality. I’ve also come to appreciate the strength of our collective instinctual desire to believe that those who share our worldview are right and good, and those who attack our worldview are evil and wrong.
Another piece of the puzzle comes from brain science, which recognizes that we are wired with a negativity bias, which means we give greater emphasis to what feels wrong and dangerous over what feels safe and right. If you reflect back on our genetic ancestry, those who had a bias to focus on every little thing that felt wrong or dangerous were much more likely to survive and pass on their genes.
In order to succeed as change agents in making a better world, we need to recognize and resolve our own biases and fiercely held worldviews. How much of the polarization we see in the world is a projection of the polarizations, the judgments of right and wrong, within us? How much of the positive progress in the evolution of society have we been ignoring?
It’s important to find news sources that don’t focus on stirring up outrage and distress about what feels wrong. Curate your feeds to keep in balance about what’s right with the world.
As you dust off the lens with which you view the world, you will be able to see the situation more clearly. Only then will you be able to receive unfiltered guidance about the truth of your unique purpose and how best you can contribute to our collective evolution.