A Moment in My Life – Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Jeannie Yee Davis
I’ve been to many business meetings lately where I noticed the same scene played out over and over again. This last meeting I attended was no different, but in my little pea brain, I honestly thought this time it would be different and end well with the opposing sides uniting in harmony. I was vastly disappointed. With all the horror and violence in today’s world where people are attacking and harming anybody and everybody they can, the last place I expect disharmony is in my small world.
We came together on a common bond. Sure. We may not see eye to eye. There will always be discord and disagreement, but it’s okay because that’s how we grow, learn, improve, and get to know one another better. We may not get our way, but we must speak up and voice our concerns, wants, and needs. Sharing different views may be the solution we’ve been looking for to a better way, a better future. But nobody can read another’s mind. Come to think of it. I don’t always know what’s going on in my mind. How can I know yours? That’s when communication is a must. God never intended us to be alone but with others and work together. Working together means putting the puzzle pieces on the table, and together we rearrange them to complete the picture—the common goal. The more hands on deck, the faster we can achieve the goal. Some puzzle boards are more convoluted and complex. Those boards require contemplation, and brainstorming makes all the difference whether we complete the board or not. However, not if we’re going to fight over where the pieces go, nick pick the suggestions made or oppose progress every step.
We must speak up. There is no doubt about that. Nobody would know what you think unless you speak up, but how you do it is the point here. During these meetings, there were two groups, a larger main group and a smaller subgroup. The meetings start cordial, presenting the agenda items one by one. Then, the heat intensified as the unresolved agenda items surfaced. There is no doubt that everybody cares and wants to make things better. One side presented a motion that would allow us to move forward, while the other side opposed and countered with another motion. As the members debated the pros and cons for each motion, it never fails the agitated voices would fill the room. It’s human nature to raise a voice when we feel we’re not getting what we want.
As children, we yelled, cried, stomped our feet, and threatened mayhem if we didn’t get our way. (Disclaimer: this is generally speaking. I’m not saying I did this. My folks would’ve disowned me had I acted out this way.) We carry those scars within us, and they appear in a flash when we feel threatened. At these meetings, repeatedly, I observed these scars come out in members of one team lashing out in words that I won’t repeat here, but their words translated in my mind to “oneness,” “unity,” and “inclusion.” They felt the ramifications of being the smaller subgroup to the main group when it should be “one” group.
I agree with being one group that houses harmony and unity and every good thing that goes with it. I’m afraid I have to disagree with the raised voices and accusations and the negativity that divides people. As a fly on the wall watching the room, the 1977 commercial kept playing in my head with its timeless jingle, “You can try hard, or you can try soft. Soft will get ’em every time.” Exactly, that’s the angle this little subgroup needs, soft!
Instead of raising your voices and being combative, why not live your words? You want to be included as “one,” right? So, why not be one, like the old saying goes, “fake it ’til you make it.” Since everybody is invited and welcome to participate in all events, why don’t you participate? Why not incorporate yourselves into the main group? Join them in their plans where they are. Serve with them with the talents that only you can offer. Be a friend. Get to know the other members of the bigger group. Instead of rebelling, why not put your feet into their shoes and see out of their eyes? Share your views softly. If you still disagree, discuss your reasons, and help them see out of your eyes. Have conversations to bridge the differences to reach common ground. Work together towards a feasible compromise so that both sides can sincerely be “one” group. Remember: dial down the summer heat. Keep the temperature at a comfortable spring.
We can’t understand each other if we stay in our corners. We have to blend to see the other’s view, but it is doable. The way I see it, by taking the first step to work together, we give ourselves a fighting chance of achieving the “one” group goal by getting to know the other members and allowing them to know us.
Next thing you know, they’ll welcome you and want you to be a part of their group. Before you know it, you are “one” harmonious group working towards a brighter future together. I believe we can change our approach and attitude to work together, not against one another. Keep in mind that if the old method doesn’t work, step back, take a breath and consider another way.