People become polarized too easily, too quick to abandon reason for the sake of defending their own side.

A well-balanced, well-adjusted person can see an issue from every angle, seeing the faults and virtues of every angle, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE of every angle. Polarity is good for football games and a necessary component of warcraft (soldiers would never be able to fight if they were trained or even allowed to think objectively about what it is they are actually doing) but beyond that, polarized thinking is for insects and has no place in human relations.

I’m pleased to say that I have many good friends who disagree strongly with my political and scientific beliefs, with whom I enjoy lively debate on those very subjects and with whom I happily remain steadfast friends. And as tempting as it is for me to assume an air of being ‘elevated’ or claim credit for taking the high road in allowing these differing opinions in my life, actually the reason for this is simple and mechanical in nature: humans—ALL humans— have more in common than not. Remember that. As my dad used to say, “Opposition to your point of view is an opportunity to grow”, regardless of how evasive the efficacy of someone else’s stance or their vexing inability to think just like you.

Where polarized thinking becomes the most visible is of course politics, the arena where we have a news media so rabid for conflict, any trifle gets blown up into a major battle to create higher ratings so they can charge more for advertising time.  Most Americans—when bombarded with this sensationalism and the vilification of whatever side opposes the interests of the media outlet’s owners and advertisers—lack the education or intellectual conditioning to be able to see the issues clearly for simply what they are, buying into the frenzy and helping to build this ‘great divide’ we’re seeing. The result is a tragically divided country of people who posses hand-held electronic devices capable of accessing the entire knowledge-base of humankind, yet are among the most ignorant and easily misled people on the planet…viewing any five minutes of any major news media outlet is all that’s required to confirm this.  And We The People have totally lost track of the things we have in common, which greatly outweigh the things we don’t.  But I digress; I started out to discuss where polarity meets personal relations.

Where this meets relationships, overcoming polarization becomes a sacred tenet. Since no one human will agree with you on everything, if you’re every going to find happiness in love, you’ll have to embrace views and opinions with which you disagree.  More importantly, you’ll have to be comfortable with it.

Where this meets the inevitable friction in love, it’s every bit as sacred. Failure to embrace each other’s differences leads to friction and breakups; it’s a fundamental truth that two wonderful people can have a messed up relationship. When your partner’s wrong or at odds with your opinion, that doesn’t make your partner a jerk, nor does it make you right. Let it slide, let it go. The relationship and your happiness has to be more important than your need to be right…not that an argument ever ends well, anyway; when your need to be ‘right’ is so bad that you wind up arguing, then even if you win, you lose.