The painting above is titled ‘Freedom of Speech’ and is by the great artist, Norman Rockwell. In it, a man in a town meeting is speaking. There’s been a fire and the town high school has burned. The community has gathered to decide whether or not to rebuild the high school. The man who is speaking is against doing this. And although the others don’t agree with him, they allow him to express his opinion.. Something that community and connection are all about.
Things aren’t just black or white. There are also shades of grey. And without this realization we are only seeing half the picture.
I also find it helpful to remember that each of us are both the teacher and the student, and that every experience has the potential to be a classroom where we can learn something…if we are open to and allow it. Do I agree with everyone? Of course not. But when I allow others, to express their views, it can do much to close the gap of misunderstanding. Something we need more than ever before.