The tension was high. Each day, it was inevitable; somewhere along the way, conversations about the pandemic and politics surfaced. Even though I encouraged everyone to maintain a peaceful environment, the insurmountable stress and pressure we felt was hard to contain. We had never been faced with a global issue of this magnitude before.
Many varied opinions flew back and forth, many people at odds, but something differed from past times. It was the aggressive nature of expression and closed-mindedness in being open to talk peacefully in the face of adversity.
I saw friendships and family ties collapse. In many cases, if you disagree, it could be a line once crossed that destroys relationships that previously existed. What has happened in society today? We were once a kinder and gentler nation. Now, this is ceasing to exist.
Thinking back on history, during the time of the greatest generation, people worked together for the best interest of humanity. They raised the bar in work ethics. They stood together against evil. They still had different ideas and opinions, but when it came down to the greater good of all, the greater good prevailed.
To this day, that generation still feels like giving back for the privilege of the country, the world, and life in it. They fund humanitarian efforts, performing arts, and an array of non-profits. They pay it forward. To them, it’s not about sacrificing themselves, but it’s about nurturing the life force in others. However, that generation is fading out, and there is a shift from love to hate and from giving to greed.
As our world shifts, we are faced with new realities. The greatest generation is one of the past, as we have since experienced: the silent generation, the baby boomers, generation X, the millennial generation, generation Z, and now we are in generation alpha.
How can we calm the aggressive mentalities that have risen up, dividing families, friends, and our nation? How can we co-exist with the love and understanding we once had for each other?
Create Safe Places
Value Others - As you value others, you accept them for who they are and do not hold judgment for who they are.
Active Listening - When you listen actively, you are open to hearing others' concerns, thoughts, and feelings. You listen to hear and understand rather than react.
Have Curiosity - In having curiosity, you listen with a neutral mind that does not attach feeling but is just curious about what and why the person has expressed what they have.
Finding Compassion - As you find compassion for others, you understand that we all come from different backgrounds and life experiences that make up who we are. Remember the adage: You never know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.
Evolution in society is inevitable. A paradigm shift in our collective consciousness will always occur through time. However, showing up with emotional intelligence is crucial, not just for the health of our interpersonal relationships but for what we pass on to our future generations. Let it be one of valuing each other, actively listening, having curiosity, finding compassion, and nurturing the life force in others so our generation can set aside our differences and bond together for the best interest of humanity, like that of the greatest generation in time.