My ambition for 2017: More curiosity, less judgement
I’m normally not one for sentimental annual reviews; I mainly use this time of year to look ahead and plan the next twelve months. However, this year has been so extraordinary that it demands some reflection before moving on. It seems important to think about how the events of 2016 will (and should) influence our thinking and our future actions.
Political decisions on both sides of the Atlantic have brought to the surface how societies have fractured. And irrespective of which side of the arguments you are on, most people agree that the tone of public and private debate has changed – and not for the better. Never before in my lifetime, it seems, have such opposing views led to this much division.
I can’t exclude myself. More than once have I used words I would rather not repeat to describe those on the other side of the debate. Those other people.
So where does all of this leave us?
I’ve had many conversations with friends and colleagues and have often sensed a great deal of frustration and resignation. It’s the resignation which frightens me - as complacency is the last thing we need.
So this is what I’m going to do (and I know it’ll be difficult). In 2017, I will try to stop my own version of ‘othering’. I’ll aim to engage with people whose views I suspect I’ll find challenging. I’ll try to be more respectful towards people with different views and to look for the common ground. In other words, I’ll put curiosity about what I might find over judgement of what I think I know.
What are you going to do?
Wishing you all a wonderful festive break and lots of time for reflection and planning!