Sunday, January 29, 2017

Middle Ground Power

Currently about 30% of the country approves of the current administration's actions. It continues to fall but will likely bottom out and stay steady. About 30% of the country is outraged and concerned. The rest are somewhere between not sure and wishing everyone else would just calm down. That latter group will be the ones to determine what the country looks like in these coming years.
It's those people in the middle that need most to be engaged and make their positions known. They are the ones willing to hear both sides of an issue and try to build bridges, try to see the best of both arguments. They are our best hope for a future. They tire of conflict. They don't like name calling. They are truly the bridge builders and the ones consistently actually rolling their sleeves to getting things done. Don't expect them to march. While others are marching, they are working on something that helps someone. They feel no need to march because they are focused on the next need. They aren't marching on either side of an issue. They are doing things in the community. These community builders don't wear their political views on their sleeves because they care most about building across lines.
They are also the people who are simply uninvolved. As long as they have what they need to survive and live without interference, they just do their own thing. They don't join anything. They aren't connected to much beyond their immediate family. They just want to live their lives and not worry about the rest. These isolationists don't much care about joining because they care most about what's right around them.
The community builders and the isolationists don't want pulled into conflicts. Their reasons are different but they resist the same. If we want to speak to them, we need to speak to them in ways that don't involve drawing them into conflict. The more irrational, erratic and emotional our approach, the less they want to hear us.
Be careful in what you say and how you say it. It matters. Those in the middle will lean one way or the other - quietly. Which way do we want them to lean? I'd like to be on the side of builders and happy to help the isolationists be happy where they are. Let's help them. There's where the power lies.

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