ExitToday’s Word: ‘Exit’ … as in the one option usually chosen way too soon.

It happened again. An issue has divided us. The little details aren’t important because the little details are a little different each time. But the response is the same, again: Exit. Stage Right, or Stage Left. (Really, honestly, no pun intended there. At all.)

On any given day there are any given number of issues about which we all have opinions, perspectives and deeply held convictions. It’s the positivity in me, I know, but what a wonderful moment for learning and growing! What a wonderful opportunity to discover how to thrive in the midst of a veritable color palate of opinions, perspectives and deeply held convictions!

Yet, I do wonder if part of the reason we have stopped coming together and started moving apart is because we no longer feel safe sharing our perspectives with each other.

We’re afraid. So we exit.

This becomes our thinking:

“I don’t how you will receive me, my opinions, perspectives and deeply held convictions and because from the beginning of time I’ve tended to fear what I can’t see or don’t know, my default is to just exit.”

I feel like I’m going out on a limb here, but we can do better than that. We can do much better.

So when we disagree about the color of the carpeting, let’s at least have a conversation about it. I could probably learn some things from you.

The next time we have differing shades of perspectives on the weightier issues or just flat out disagree about something, let’s just talk. Coffee? Beer? Both? Neither?

If, after we’ve sat together and done the difficult work of both hearing and listening to each other; if after we’ve heard the nuances of passion in our voices and seen each other’s facial expressions and our body language together; if after we’ve been able to ask questions and get clarification—if after all of that we just agree to disagree, then sure, we can do what we feel compelled to do at that point.

But let’s not just exit. That’s an option chosen way too soon. And we’ve got way too much to learn.


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