It would be wonderful if every community – small, big, or related – worked seamlessly and effortlessly together. I have yet to see any community, even one as small as two, always work together. We, myself at the front of this line, do not always know how to work with others.
The list of reasons is endless. From differing viewpoints to beliefs and values that clash and on through priorities that conflict, individuals find it difficult to get along with each other. An old boss would always suggest that it was either data (our insight into the underlying data was different) or logic (our reasoning) that caused a difference. While both are contributors, I think the work is more complex than this. Priorities, values, beliefs, understanding, and experience all come into play.
There are genuine reasons for individuals to disagree. The question is what do we do with our disagreements?
The question is easy, what follows is not. A letter documented a common response to our differences. In his words – “I bring this up because some from Chloe’s family brought a most disturbing report to my attention—that you’re fighting among yourselves!” (1 Corinthians 1.11) Whatever the answer might be, I know this is not it.
Life offers common sense suggestions.
When we have differences, seeking to understand the other’s perspective is helpful. Walk in her/his shoes. This is not about agreeing. It is about insight and understanding.
When differences occur, remember to find and affirm the common goal. There are many things we share. Starting with these provides a foundation to build on.
Remember that you will not always find a shared solution. There are honest disagreements. Build on what you share; seek to understand where your views differ. Life is more about collaboration then it is about a singular view.
As I listened to two views in one of my communities, I realize that I had an opportunity to help others reach for something more. It is an opportunity that comes with each day. It is also at the heart of living in a community.