Dirt in your skirt blog

Monday Musing: Finding the Commonalities Instead of Differences

Posted on March 26, 2018 by Margaret Schlachter

What do a vegan and paleo have in common? Sounds like the start of a really bad joke right? I first read this article from No Meat Athlete in 2010, instead of picking apart two ideologies it was about finding common ground. Last week I was talking about a friend who is in a circle of healers but didn’t like other healers who, from my vantage, are all working towards the same end. They are just going about it differently. All want to help the world heal, but instead of seeing all the ways they are similar instead they see differences.


What do energetic healers, paleo, and vegans have in common? Well probably more than they know. But the problem often is getting everyone to the table to have a conversation. In our world today it seems like everyone wants to see who can yell the loudest.

We all end up in our little silos or towers. We yell out the windows at each other. Each one thinks they have it right 100% of the time. When indeed if we all just sat down and had a conversation we would find we have more similarities than differences.


One of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss, wrote the book the Buttle Battle Book in 1984 to highlight the Cold War. While the book and video made from the story are amusing tales and fun to watch as a kid. I remember reading and watching as a kid this story and thinking, but they both like bread and butter. I couldn’t understand why two groups who liked the same thing could become so embattled.



While the Cold War scares may have subsided it seems today we have embarked on a new Cold War but not one of Nuclear weapons (although some might say we still are) but of other social, ideological issues.


We are conditioned to look for the differences we all have instead of the similarities. Recently, this theme was brought up again watching the Netflix Docuseries Wild Wild Country (clip below). As my husband and I sat and binged on the series all I kept thinking was, what would have happened if the two parties could have just sat down and talked about their feelings before it all escalated. Where would the town and the people be today?



Often it seems that we find ourselves yelling from our tower on social media at another tower. When in reality we have more in common with each other than we have different. We need to take the time (slow the eff down), sit together, and find our common ground.


We as humans are meant to live in tribes and having a tribe is a dominant part of what it means to be in a community. But we can’t put up walls once we find those we have things in common with and shun all who do not fit in our box. Instead invite them in, learn from them, become empathic to their point of view.


That’s when the magic happens


So instead next time you find yourself wanting to yell at your screen or in real life at someone take a moment, slow down, and think about their point of view. Try to find the commonalities, not the differences. Who knows you just might see we aren’t all that different.