Raise your hand if you’ve had a family holiday gathering go up in awkward or even hostile smoke when subjects like politics, economics or world affairs are raised.
Uncle Bob wants to bomb the terrorists back to the Stone Age for upsetting the blissful peace of the good old U S of A. Grandma Sally, on the other hand, still longs for the days of Roosevelt giving nearly everyone a job, even if it’s at taxpayer expense, and swears that would fix unemployment… I could go on and on…and so could you — whatever the stories or holidays in your world. Your whole family stops breathing; the intimacy and fun are sucked out of the room. The festive spirit is gone.
Yet most of us long for some meaningful conversation with our family and friends. How can we explore critical topics of real relevance without losing the bond and intimacy that is also so vital to a fulfilling life?
We have found that discussing principles, and values, not politics, holds the key.
Here are a few “trans-political” topics that can lead to meaningful conversations without dissolving into the two party polarity trap.
What VALUES do we all share in common?
Perhaps being honest, being fair, being able to stay safe, having access to healthy food, being free to believe and say what you want?
Based on the values you just named, what would you do to help the world — if there were no lack of funds and you were fully empowered to accomplish your vision?
Some people say the one PRINCIPLE that everyone can agree to is the “non-aggression principle” — where no one gets to harm or steal from another. Do you agree with that principle? Can you think of any other to which everyone would be likely to agree?
We have heard from thousands of people who said THRIVE helped them to finally bridge political and generational divides within their families and workplaces. It is a great conversation starter, and because our perspective and solutions are principle — not politics — based, we find people relate well to the message from all along the political spectrum. Sit down together with the THRIVE DVD, give them as holiday gifts or recommend the link to view it for free on our website.
For more tips about how to share difficult information with friends — without losing your friendships, check out the video below, How to Share Difficult Information with Friends Without Losing Friendships by Kimberly and Foster. And remember, staying open and respectful across ideological divides is an important part of creating a world where everyone has a chance to thrive.
Good luck with your efforts to find meaningful common ground. Let us know how it goes in the comments below.
Wishing you peace in this season and always.