A headline in today’s paper, “Gap between rich, poor widens”, reminded me that back when I started my blog I had written about the Great Divide. Today’s article stated that average incomes fell for the bottom 80 percent of earners and rose for the top 20 percent. I thought it was time to revisit my thinking three years ago and see how it tied to today’s story.
September 1, 2009: It got me thinking of how our money beliefs and values have caused an ever widening gap between those who have and those who have not.  That gap has grown so that at times it seems impossible to bridge the gap.  The two sides believe the opposite of each other and can’t even begin to understand those on the other side. 
One side believes that nothing good comes with money—while across the gap they believe if you don’t have money, you’re no good.  One side believes you did something “bad” to get money, and the other side believes if you just worked or tried harder you wouldn’t be in the financial mess you’re in.  So, this gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” gets bigger and bigger based on baseless “truths” and unexamined beliefs. 
Just listening to the political debates confirms that our beliefs have not changed and that the great divide has grown bigger as we shout louder at each other. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of throwing insults, we could take a deep breath and say, “tell me more, tell my why you believe that—not from facts and figures but from deep inside—where did that belief come from? And, more importantly, is it entirely yours?”
What if we started with, “that’s an interesting point, tell me more?” Would the world stop, compromise start and maybe some forward movement begin? Maybe not—but I think it could slow the rhetoric just long enough to examine, and uncover our common beliefs and values. Because I believe that underneath it all, we want the same thing: to be heard, to be treated with respect and to be valued as a real person—a fellow human-being. If we can remember we’re all in this together, maybe that gap will start to shrink.
Is it really 3 years already? Are you tired of listening to me yet?

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