Are you guilty of political profiling? To some degree we all are - and it's getting worse.
What do I mean? Political profiling involves making snap judgements on where a person falls on the political spectrum.
This assessment (or guess) is then used to decide how we relate to that human being. The implications can be enormous, particularly if that person is judged to be on the "other side."
While this process reduces the chance of an awkward discussion or disagreement, it does so at a profound cost. The opportunity for mind-expanding debates is lost, common ground disappears and life changing friendships are forgone.
So what can we do about it?
We're not suggesting you embrace every political third rail with Uncle Larry at your next family gathering. But it can be a powerful experience to reach out to a "friend with differences."
Your FWD, or "friend with differences," doesn't need to be a polar opposite in every respect, just someone you know who sees the world differently.
Giving them a call, or inviting them out for coffee or a beer, can be a deeply rewarding experience. Respectfully exploring diverse perspectives can open minds and hearts in a way our country desperately needs.
The fact is, it's possible to both honor differences and celebrate common ground if we're willing to make ourselves just a little vulnerable.
It's time we set an example for our elected officials by walking the walk instead of just wagging our fingers.
And, if you've successfully reached beyond your comfort zone: between beers and laughs, take a picture or a short video and enter it into the Beyond Our Differences contest. Your entry could go viral and might even help rescue American politics!
Looking for inspiration? Here's a great example from our contest.