On Sunday night, people were either Patriots fans or Rams fans, right? Millions of people around the US (and many parts of the world) gathered around TVs with friends and family to choose a team to root for. For. One. Night.
However, the rest of the year they cheer on the Giants. The Steelers. The Dolphins. The teams that they grew up with, that their fathers loved. The teams who wear their favorite colors or whose colors became their favorite. People love one, maybe two of 32 teams.
So why the hell are our belief systems one-sided? Why is that if someone disagrees with you that they are automatically “a liberal” or a “Repub” or some variation of only two political parties? How did we get to a place of such divisiveness that we have forgotten that the spectrum of opinion is not black and white when we know there are at least 50 shades of gray (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
I wonder how society learned to escalate conversations from differing opinions to schoolyard name calling. There are those among us who tout religious beliefs while spewing vicious attacks and judgments on the personal characters of complete strangers. From a single online comment, we have suddenly obtained the ability to analyze a human’s entire soul and make determinations about their entire being. From one single comment. This, my friends, is true sorcery. I’m not sure what magic potion is being distributed, but it has some astonishing power.
What? Does that sound absurd? No one can possibly understand the experiences, the dreams, the education, the history and every belief a person holds from one single comment. Even when we read something and truly believe that the person is 100% mistaken, we cannot accurately assess who they are.
Name calling, assumption, attacks didn’t work in grade school and they don’t work now. You are not going to be able to influence others and help them understand your truth through bashing and by deciding that if they are not on your side in a particular matter that they must be against you in all things. The last time I checked, this was not how life works.
So here’s some unsolicited advice. If you are pissed off and fired up, if you want to change the world, or simply just want to get your point across, remember this: It is very possible for a Giants fan and a Jets fan to both be Yankees fans. Funny, how that simplifies things, huh?
So, on “Big Game” Sunday, choose a side. Yell and scream and maybe even root for the underdog. The rest of the year, let’s try looking for common ground.
P.S. Just to be clear, I’m talking about the Super Bowl which is a registered trademark about the NFL. I’m not making any money from this post, but you know, lawyers like to be picky. I probably should have gone to law school, but that’s another post for another time.