Are you concerned about the polarization among people in America? I am. It seems that everywhere I look, people are so divided over their beliefs on a particular issue that they cannot seem to find any common ground. They end up angry, rude and disrespectful to one another in many cases.

Here are just a few indicators:

This past week the Supreme Court issued rulings which one day delighted the conservatives and dismayed progressives while the next day their decisions reversed each group’s emotions. Each day one group celebrated while the other complained about the court and the direction of our country.  Everyone got a chance to celebrate the court and denigrate the court.

Also this past week, a late-night filibuster by Texas Democrats killed a Republican bill designed to drastically curtail abortions in the state. The live feed on the Internet was viewed by thousands. The Texas Senator who led the filibuster was demonized on Fox news and lauded as a hero on MSNBC.

A Google search seeking a recent David Brooks editorial in the New York Times about the brain and the mind inadvertently led me to a blog site written and read by individuals who obviously held a very materialistic view of life. Their postings skewered Brooks and his column.  Anyone who offered an opinion on the blog site that differed from their viewpoint that the “mind equals the brain” was insulted or argued down. Ironically, it reminded me of times where I’ve read someone trying to offer an alternative view on a fundamentalist Christian blog site and being damned to hell. Closed minds can show up in all worldviews.

I could go on – but I believe you get the picture. You probably can come up with your own examples where this past week you have experienced deep polarization between individuals. In my mind, this has become an epidemic which is tearing our country apart.

This epidemic has led, in my opinion, to the appearance of these outcomes:

  • Economic polarization between the rich and the poor and a shrinking middle class.
  • Political polarization such that we cannot make any important political decisions to solve the major problems faced today.
  • Personal polarization such that we isolate ourselves in our own worlds alone or with people who think as we do.
  • Spiritual polarization such that we demonize anyone who does not believe as we do.

Is this the world we want to live in?  Not me.  How can we heal this?

Next time, I offer seven keys to do just that.

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!

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Image courtesy of Michal Marcol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net