[OPINION] Contrasting visions: a prerequisite for progress
We live in a highly selfish time, where cancel culture permeates even the most insignificant forms of social interaction. If your point of view differs from mine, then we can’t be best friends. If you don’t support the candidate of my choice in the election, then I must sever ties with you. This has been our virtual reality, and we can only hope to prevent the worst from happening: that it imperceptibly crept into our physical relationships long before we realized it.
Imagine if that were to be the case for our gut microbiome, where we strive to eliminate diversity and shove uniformity unnecessarily down our throats. Our biological system would never thrive. Our gut would fail to digest and process nutrients. Therefore, our immunity against certain diseases would decrease. We know this to be true since our bodies and environments thrive on the diversity of organisms, biofluids and microdata. It’s 5th grade science, and there’s no denying it.
Therefore, if we are to actualize progress and remove harmful elements from our societies, we must engage and pursue healthy discussions with contrasting opinions from people of different backgrounds and sensibilities, because respect differs from passive acceptance. .
May this commitment begin in our families; in our homes, where the cradle of life is launched. How beautiful it is when mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers live in harmony. And while most of us dream of the perfect family life that perhaps manifests itself in the absence of drama, numerous studies have shown that disagreements are an integral part of a home. Among them, Segrin and Flora, through the literature published in 2018, proved that effective conflict resolution in the family allows our young people to negotiate and manage compromises, building a solid foundation for establishing strong relationships and significant throughout their lives. Before pointing the finger at our political systems, our pedagogical orientations, we must go back to the basics, to our most basic unity. This is where leaders and policy makers are born. This is where teachers and educators are first educated. It is the heart and root of healthy, stable and progressive communities.
Once we have ensured harmony at the heart of society, at the micro levels we discussed earlier, we must shift our attention to the mezzo level: our schools, our workplaces, and our duly constituted institutions. One word will reinforce our very aspirations for this sector: inclusiveness. It is the measure of our cultural competence to ensure that no one, no matter how different or strange, is ever left behind.
This commitment is an indicator of the functioning of a truly human civilization. We can take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, an icon of civil rights and freedom throughout the world, whose words and example resonate to our time: “The true measure of any society is found in the care of its most vulnerable and marginalized members. “It can also include respect for diversity, dissenting opinions and contrasting viewpoints. If we are often too lost and drunk with our passion for extremist ideas, as well as the desire to be center stage, which often unnecessarily ignores and undermines different perspectives for constructive feedback, may we always remember this commitment.
When the core, base and middle bridge of our communities are effectively prepared for diversity, the whole nation follows suit and progress becomes irrefutable. It is a blessing to be connected in a brotherly way despite the apparent differences we collectively share. Our opposing views may conflict with the vision we dream of, but those same conflicting voices are surely complementary.
We need a fusion of flavors to make the recipe for progress appetizing, edible, and ultimately possible. Without opposing viewpoints, the flavor of society will quickly become bland and dull. We will soon lose the appetite for the dialogue, the negotiations, the interpellations necessary to arrive at better laws. We will lose what it means to be human: to move forward despite adversities and to thrive in the midst of diversities.
Although we need not accept false and misleading claims, may we always have the heart to listen and hold an unconditional positive regard for all people, regardless of background. This is what it means to be human and to be human. After all, progress depends on peace, and peace will only emerge when we learn to do justice; recognize, adapt and live in diversity. After all, if we are truly advocates for the common good, we will also stand firm and remember that the good of all requires freedom, security, dignity, inclusiveness and diversity. – Rappler.com
Renbrandt Tangonan is a 25-year-old Batangueño social worker specializing in advocacy and communication for program and policy development. He is currently engaged with the Social Action Commission of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa.