Braving The Wilderness
Chapter 3 - Blog 2
In Chapter 3 of Braving the Wilderness Brene’ brilliantly articulates the growing experience of loneliness in our country. I see it in our culture, I hear about it in my office, I witness it in my own relationships.
“As people seek out the social settings they prefer - as they choose the group that makes them feel most comfortable- the nation grows more politically segregated - and the benefit that ought to come with having a variety of opinions is lost to the righteousness that is the special entitlement of homogeneous groups. We all live with the results: balkanized communities whose inhabitants find other Americans to be culturally incomprehensible; a growing intolerance for political differences that has made national consensus impossible; and politics so polarized that Congress is stymied and elections are no longer just contests over policies, but bitter choices between ways of life.” pg. 46 -Bill Bishop
How does this contribute to loneliness? We tend to assume that if people have different ways of life than us then we can’t be friends. We can’t imagine that a person of a different religion or economic status could also be a safe place share life and confidentiality. These assumptions simply aren’t true.
One of the greatest things about being friends with people different than ourselves is gaining valued perspective. For seven years I was in a Bible study in Orange City, Iowa. We did not all agree on gender roles, parenting, or a host of political topics. Besides providing great friendships for me, this group actually helped me feel safer in the world and helped me develop the ability to see other views. I credit this group with opening my eyes to the plight of the immigrant and enhancing my worldview. I credit those changes with molding me to become the person that has grown Weighting Comforts by employing refugees.
What do you have in common with people around you?
How are you intentionally getting to know people different than yourselves?
What would you need to feel safe to enough to ask questions of people that think differently than you?
Donna Durham, MMFT