Divisiveness can alienate families too

By Peter Sestito
Posted 8/25/19

Our country is in the midst of political upheaval. Right versus left. Conservative versus the liberal. Capitalist versus socialist. Man versus woman. Straight versus gay. Old versus young. Rich …

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Divisiveness can alienate families too

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Our country is in the midst of political upheaval. Right versus left. Conservative versus the liberal. Capitalist versus socialist. Man versus woman. Straight versus gay. Old versus young. Rich versus poor.

Not sure when it became an us versus them mentality, but wherever you fall on the spectrum, this type of divisiveness  doesn’t bode well for progress, growth, unity, etc… We need to come together and join forces, respect positions that differ from our personal beliefs, put the common good ahead of personal opinion. Easier said than done. Not sure of the solution, but failing to try will result in continued division and a weaker country.

This divisiveness has a way of creeping into our personal lives and families and results in arguments, anger, and separation. How sad it is when family members, friends, and co-workers let a disagreement or a difference of opinion interfere with their personal relationship. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough family who I love, friends who I care about, and co-workers who I respect to let that happen. I am very opinionated and at times share my views with others who I know are on the other side. We may have a heated discussion and I do get frustrated, but I refuse to allow it to become an issue so great that I let it damage a relationship. I did that in the past and realized that I was hurting myself as I lost someone who I cared about over something trivial or unimportant. Even if it is important, it’s not worth losing someone over a difference.

Reaching out to repair a relationship can be as simple as saying “let’s put this behind us”, “I’m sorry”, “can we talk”, “how about a cup of coffee.” You decide what to say to begin the conversation. I’m almost positive the other person wants reconciliation as much as you want reconciliation. As humans, we allow our biasness, opinions, beliefs, pride, etc… get in the way of resolving personal conflicts with others. It only takes one person to begin the repair process. There are a few people in my life that I would like to begin this process with, but continue to find it difficult to extend the olive branch. Going to make an extra effort and see how it plays out. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Nothing improves! You still didn’t lose anything. I’m guessing there is a family member, friend, co-worker, etc… in your life that the relationship needs to be improved or reconnected. Don’t let anything get in the way of trying to resolve. Enough preaching on my part…

Silly story…

For all you parents out there who will do anything for your children, I get it! We have a new driver in the house. Jack passed his road test, the second time…LOL. He had a minor issue during the first road test. As the examiner was getting in the car, I heard her say, “sit up straight and turn your hat around.” I’m thinking, oh no, this isn’t starting well. As they pulled out, I watched the examiner’s head hit the back window of my SUV. Jack was a little quick out of the gate! Approximately three minutes later I see Jack and the examiner return and she gets out shaking her head. I look at Jack and he is slumped over the wheel. It appears as his world has come crashing down. The examiner informs me that Jack has failed as a result of driving too fast, hitting the curb during parallel parking, and a couple of other minor mistakes. I ask, “what did he do right? She responded, “he was here on time.” As we drove home, I could see that Jack was devastated and as much as I wanted to tease him and break his chops, my fatherly instinct took over and I shared with him that I failed my first road test as well. We went home and I told him that I know an examiner and we will try to see if we can set up the next test with her and hopefully you’ll do better and not be so nervous with someone that we all know. For the next week, every waking moment was spent with Jack torturing me to set up the test with my friend. After a few phone calls, begging, and the promise of my next male child, the road test was set up with my friend. Long story short, Jack passed and is now a NYS licensed driver. What we won’t do for our children…

Have a great month and I look forward to sharing September’s column with all of you. Remember to pray for those in need and it’s ok to pray for yourself too.

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