The increasing polarization we see in the US today starts from people naturally possessing different inclinations. That is, just as we each share different physiological characteristics from birth, we also share different inborn psychological characteristics, which include our political orientations.
Our possession of a Left or a Right political orientation is rooted inside us. This is why we see so many people set firmly in their beliefs of what is good and bad, and more and less important for our society and ourselves.
We can also check this phenomenon on ourselves: How many times have we let our political stance become completely reversed as a result of a certain conversation with somebody else? Also, how many times have we persuaded others to change their political stance?
Of course, we are all heavily influenced by our environment, and so if we enter into a different environment that is full of people with a different political orientation, as well as different educational, media and other socio-cultural influences, then our regular encounter with those influences is likely to reprogram our opinions over time.
However, since most people do not undergo such dramatic changes, then when discussing the polarization of the many millions of people in the US, we cannot expect any major change in people’s inborn orientations.
Also, over the generations, we have passed various times in history where we needed to experience one kind of regime or another for a certain period of time, and more people felt connected to a certain side during those periods. Today, however, as we enter a new historical stage characterized by greater interdependence, and accordingly require a new kind of connection above our differences in order to realize our newfound interdependence positively, we also find that in such a highly populous country as the US, the population is more or less split equally into two opposing political orientations. The latest election results are a sign of this roughly equal split.
The problem today is not polarization in and of itself. Rather, it is that people view the polarization from their side alone, where the more we develop, the more we see that our side is correct and good, and the other side is wrong and bad. We then increasingly see the other side as a heavy burden on society and on ourselves, which we would be happy to eliminate from our lives.
If we, however, could see the broader context of our polarization, that nature is polarizing us more and more in order for us to exercise our free choice—to positively connect above our increasing polarization—then we would realize this situation correctly and head toward a harmonious and balanced state. As an example of such balance, take a look at the human body. It is full of different systems, cells and organs, pluses and minuses, all operating together in order to sustain the body’s health and survival.
Therefore, while it is perfectly natural to hold onto our differing opinions, today we need to wake up to the fact that we are becoming increasingly interdependent, and in order to realize our interdependence harmoniously, we need to start seeing the need in building a second level above our current one: a construction of positive connection above our disagreements as more important than letting ourselves remain at the level of our conflicts alone.
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