How to Live in a Polarized World?
It’s not a problem to solve but a duality to manage
Polarity is everywhere you look. And I’m not talking about political polarization here. It can be global or right in front of you in your own home.
Let’s take the following as examples:
- Male and female
- Black and white
Responsibility and freedom
Right and wrong
Financial and Economic Issues
Rich and poor
Haves and have-nots
And it can go on because there will always be two sides to every coin. What we don’t want to see is the potential in between.
Polarity in How We Live
In South Africa, I grew up living with no fear. Our houses didn’t have high walls and electric fences. But as things changed, people moved away from their childhood homes into gated communities with high walls and electric fences to be safer. It led to communities divided between the haves and the have-nots. People who couldn’t afford to move were left in unsafe situations, fearing their lives as crime worsened.
I know it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Maybe we will never have a collective society with the same values, ideals, views, and aspirations. And we’re probably not meant to live in that kind of society. We are all born different, with different skin colors, cultures, and faiths.
Heck, the earth itself is polarized — two extremes. But the middle, the equator, isn’t ideal either as it’s really hot. So you venture further, creating more distance while seeking comfort with others that prefer the same thing. Birds of a feather flock together. Right? The thing is, how do you join a flock when your ideas and beliefs are different?
Sometimes, it’s hard enough to convince family members, so why take on the battle of convincing the public? The only choice often is to distance yourself from people who don’t share your beliefs. And so, the gap grows wider. But is that the solution or is it adding to the problem?