I had a conversation with one of my brothers yesterday that, on reflection, is worth sharing here. He and I share disappointment and frustration at the lack of humanity we observe in conversations on popular issues in society.
The first draft of this note was much longer. In part because I was forming my thoughts on what I intended to share and how to share it, but also because I felt compelled to provide full context. After careful consideration, I trust you as a reader to meet this message with the appropriate context.
"How do I treat the people I disagree with and who disagree with me?"
This is what my brother and I discussed yesterday. We see and read things from people we disagree with nearly every day. The decision we make is how to respond and interact with people who hold different beliefs and opinions than us.
As I laid it out to my brother yesterday morning, my priority order is this:
Live my values and standards with courage and discipline.
Treat everyone well, with the respect and humanity I would like to receive.
Express and influence in a direction I believe is worthy and benefits the most people in the best ways possible.
The order is most important. For me, it is law. It is unacceptable for me to treat anyone else disrespectfully because they hold an opposing view to mine. Expressing my opinion does not require me to cut anyone else down. That's a choice.
You and I disagree on some core issues. That's ok. You're a good person. We don't have to agree in order to be good to each other. We must be good to each other in order to move forward together, even when we disagree.
Answer the call. Do the work.
Share your thoughts
Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people.