Seeking common ground

The time is now to put aside differences. Bring your best self to every situation. Don’t get caught up in the mundane bickering of differences. We are all on the same team. We are all humans trying to make it in this crazy adventure called life. And no matter what your beliefs, we are all roommates on planet Earth. So let’s do a little house cleaning.

Left wing and right wing are not separate entities mutually exclusive of themselves; they are a part of the same entity. Both wings are needed to fly. Sometimes we must correct course and one wing may need to be a little stronger than the other. In the end, its balance and working together is what is needed.

The first place to start is within. I like to ask myself, “What have I done that has led to where we are now?” Maybe that five-dollar tip that I pocketed while working at a “no-tipping” club seemed rational for a middle-class employee trying to survive in an expensive valley.

Then, put that in the perspective of a U.S. representative passing a law that they can rationalize as beneficial and getting a cut of money from the company supporting it; after all they, are just an elected official trying to survive in a cutthroat environment surrounded by billion-dollar industry lobbyists. What’s a few thousand dollars going to hurt?

Although the scale is different, the principles are all the same. Integrity. Honesty. Respect. These are just a few of the characteristics that I personally strive for and have certainly disregarded consciously and unconsciously at times in my life. Now is the time to become aware of the personal things we all do and examine how it is contributing to the bigger picture. The microcosm is the macrocosm.

Once we address ourselves, we can move onto the next layer — family and friends. Make these relationships meaningful, whole and true. We are then able to contribute to the next layer, community. A strong and healthy community is built on solid relationships. Relationships are built on respect and trust. Respect and trust are built through compassion and integrity.

No matter what your beliefs, views, goals, affiliations, skin color, net worth, birthplace, job, we are all human. We don’t need to sing Kumbaya together and agree on everything, but we must treat one another with respect and dignity. The first person to treat as such is yourself. Then let this trickle up into our families, our communities, our states, our nations, until our world of differing individuals can at least share the same home, planet Earth, with peace.

A.J. Hobbs