“Most of all, differences of opinion are opportunities for learning.”
– Terry Tempest Williams
I am a fan of Ellen DeGeneres.
Earlier this month she attended an NFL game where she sat beside former American President, George W. Bush. As a result of her friendship with the former president, she attracted a hail storm of criticism due to his administration’s opposition to same sex marriage and responsibility for the war in Iraq, so much so that she felt compelled to “explain” her friendship with George W.
As DeGeneres shared in her monologue, why can friendship not transcend political (amongst other things) differences?
Is it just me, but why is this even a “thing”?
I believe the answer is that we live in an increasingly polarized world where, “if you are not with us you are against us”. Perhaps it is wise to remember what Bertrand Russell once wrote. “Whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants”.
Or, as Ellen DeGeneres says, “Be kind to one another”.