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Focussing on Common Ground

by Emily (follow)
love (23)      society (11)      friendship (9)     
My workplace is wonderfully diverse – with a staff group of 15 people we represent 12 different countries, three different birth decades, and combined speak over 20 languages. You may think this could cause conflict, but instead we work together well.

We're all in this together. "Joy" by zeitfaenger.at

This is not necessarily the result of shared beliefs, nor the common ground of our workplace as we cover such different departments. Rather, I believe it comes down to one simple and beautiful thing: openness.

Every person I work with has this trait – openness in their own conversation, openness to new experiences, and openness to the idea that we are all different, and that’s ok.

In a fast-paced life, especially living in a big city, it is easy to become secluded. Comfort zones are comfortable! However the danger of spending too much time with people ‘just like us’ is that we cut ourselves off from the richness of human experience.

By spending time with people of all ages, from all backgrounds both cultural and socioeconomic – by finding common ground with someone whose interests appear vastly different, we bridge the gap between people and form communities of understanding.

If everyone started new acquaintances by searching for the similarities, instead of differences, imagine how greatly our friendships, our politics, and our lives might be enriched.

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