We live in such a polarizing society that “either one or the other” has not just become the norm, but the expectation. In our culture, if you don’t have an opinion about something one way or the other, people begin to question not just your intelligence but your sanity. It’s no wonder that we’ve become ever more intolerant of those whose feelings and thoughts differ from our own. We’ve each become myopic in our viewpoints and entrenched in that narrowness—and shortsightedness—of vision. We put all our emotion in one basket and it then grows in intensity, allowing very little else for consideration.
If there is one thing an empath knows in the fiber of our being, it is that all viewpoints matter. All emotions and thoughts are valid and valuable. Because we have the innate ability to experience someone else, we see, hear, think, and feel their perspective. This may not occur all the time, but it happens enough that it is uncommon to not empathize with someone else’s point of view.
This brings us to the idea of sitting on the fence. While most of the world sees this notion as indecisive or non-committal, empaths feel it is not only normal, but healthy. We know the value of acknowledging and validating another person’s perspective. Their thoughts and feelings may be different from our own, but does that negate their intrinsic meaning? Each “side”—no matter how many “sides” we are talking about—matters. Each is “right”, though there really is no such thing as right and wrong, especially in the landscape of thoughts and feelings (otherwise known as opinions).
Each of us generates our thoughts and feelings from within. This rich fabric consists of everything we’ve ever experienced, past lives included. Who are we to negate or question another’s experience? Whatever happened to listening, validating, and sharing?
These take time and attention—something our culture has all but destroyed. We are rewarded for rushing and multi-tasking; for taking on too much and suffering like a martyr as a result; for actually not listening and accomplishing so much of our own agenda. How sad this is, said a friend recently, that people “don’t visit with each other any more.” We don’t take the time to share because none of us seems to have time. In a society that is loaded with technology designed to make life easier and more convenient, we run around in circles doing more and more, getting sicker and sicker, and truly living less and less.
What does this have to do with the fence? Plenty. When we allow ourselves the luxury of sitting up high, able to see all around us, the beauty of both sides of the fence appears simply and magnificently. This vantage point offers openness. We begin to understand all perspectives and that brings us together, rather than continuing the status quo which is all about tearing us apart. We cannot continue to live in a right vs. wrong, us vs. them society. Infighting like this only sets up our own demise. Why does it have to take a universal tragedy to bring all of us together? The fact is, it doesn’t. If we’d learn to sit on the fence a little while, I think we’d all begin to enjoy the view.