If we all began every conversation, request and negotiation by first asking ourselves, “what is our common ground?” We would save much time, frustration and suffering and quite possibly come to a solution reflective of the reality that solutions created together serve us better in whole then grappling to fulfill just our own individual need.
As I sat listening to John Smith speak of his private meetings within a group called “Go Big” I was struck with the power of seeking “Common Ground”. Minor differences disappear when the principle of “common ground” is allowed to form the foundation from which discussion ensues.
So much time is wasted on proving our point of view. We are not really listening to the other side just sitting waiting for a pause so we can inject our myriad list of reasons why what we say is the best and only way. Our heels planted firmly digging deeper and deeper into our reasons and causes fostering an inability to see anything new. We enlist soldiers who share our thinking and cement ourselves into an immovable obstruction all the while had we first asked, “what is our common ground?” we could have remained soft, pliable and able to adjust ultimately creating a solution. Never is one opinion enough to create greatness it has to be molded with the insight and experience of others. We can create so much more when working together with the footing of “common ground” and the dedication to solving problems.
So much blood has shed to prove a point. Our attempts to be right and make some one else wrong limit our ability to create something fresh something new. In every passionate corner of our world; religion, political view, personal power, sports, sex and money we will kill or die trying to enforce our will on someone else. It is amazing that one simple thing all religions share is the belief; “Thou shall not kill” and even on that the one simplest parcel of ground we all share we cannot stand together on “Common Ground”.
If finally…just life itself becomes the most cherished possession all things change.
Mothers’ experience this… recovery from sickness to health discovers this… common yet quickly forgotten overwhelming sense of pure gratitude for just being alive.