I put the wrong contact lens in today, and I couldn’t see anything clearly. I struggled with it all day. I tried to make it work, and the more I messed with it, the more irritated my eye became. The world grew out of focus which threw me off balance. Finally, I realized I didn’t need to make this one work; I just needed a new lens.
Is there anything in your life that could benefit from looking at it through a clearer lens? Are you stuck in an area that needs you to reframe your viewpoint? Are you at odds with an issue or a person in your life? Are you needed on the battleground or are you being called to nurture common ground?
I have to admit, the whole Clay Street/Cedar Ravine Roundabout issue has thrown me for a bit of a loop (pun definitely intended). We seem to be stuck in a cycle of mistrust which is frustrating and destructive, and it continues to make this issue into a battleground.
The question is, how can we move from a battleground to common ground?…and that’s where I have been stuck. Before taking new ground, it’s important to get yourself set. The challenge is, what are we setting for? It should be a conscious choice.
You see, I’ve been trying to set for battle. I’ve bristled at the blows and reacted to the struggle. I have been assessing our armor to see what we should use to come out swinging. I’ve asked myself what weapons of warfare were needed to not only defend our position but to fight back. And this is where I have needed a new lens.
It is our choice whether we step onto the battlefield and become part of the struggle. It is also our choice to be curious enough to reframe our viewpoint and invite new insights and direction.
I have come to see our calling and responsibility not to arm ourselves for the battleground but to set ourselves for common ground.
…To examine our motives and make sure they are sound and just.
…To check and eradicate any sense of ego or defense that has no place or value in reaching for commonality.
…To still emotion within us that would capture the barb thrown from another’s bow, recognizing that we can’t stop the barb from being thrown and yet understanding we don’t have to catch it.
…To stand firm enough in our intent and purpose to remain calm in the middle of the struggle and resolved to move through conflict to resolution.
…To have the strength to open ourselves up to another’s viewpoint and perspective in order to think critically about an issue, knowing that answers are found through an intelligent, enlightened perspective.
…To be curious enough to discover why there is opposition on an issue and be transparent enough so that opposing parties understand each other…to move from reactionary anger to understanding.
…To recognize that reaching for commonalities doesn’t weaken our position, it allows us to move forward more informed, more creative, and more intent on inviting possibility.
…To understand that meeting on a battlefield destroys while common ground creates.
Our responsibility is to be so clear that common ground is possible to find, nurture and build that we are able to refocus…with this new lens, the way forward gets clearer.
I find it interesting that the torch that burns atop the Druid monument stands for light, for the understanding that dispells darkness, and it reminds us as a society to teach and embody the principles of brotherhood, friendship and good works. That sounds like common ground to me.