“Why Our Attitudes Towards Polarizing Topics Need a Compassionate Shift”

"We must learn to disagree without being disagreeable." - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I deeply value open and honest communication, but recently I have been deeply troubled by the way people respond to polarizing topics in politics especially in regards to gender issues. It seems that instead of engaging in thoughtful and respectful dialogue, people often resort to dismissiveness, name-calling, and other negative behaviors.

One major flaw in these attitudes is the tendency to label those with different viewpoints as “ignorant” or “evil.” This type of thinking only serves to shut down communication and perpetuate division. If we wish to find common ground in our culture, then we must learn to approach these discussions with an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn from others.

Another flaw is the tendency to prioritize winning an argument over finding common ground and working toward solutions. This can lead to a toxic “us vs. them” mentality that only serves to further divide everyone. Instead, we should strive to find areas of agreement and build on those, even if we don’t agree on everything.

There is also a tendency to view these discussions as purely intellectual exercises, rather than recognizing the deeply personal and emotional impact they can have on individuals. We need to approach these topics with compassion and empathy, recognizing that people’s experiences and identities are often tied up in these discussions. We don’t have to agree or even understand completely we just need to be on the journey of discovery and inquisition.

To shift these attitudes, we need to cultivate a greater sense of humility, empathy, and curiosity. We must be willing to acknowledge our own biases and listen to those whose experiences and perspectives differ from our own. By doing so, we can create a culture of respect and understanding, rather than one of division and conflict. Just because we do not agree doesn’t mean we are each other’s enemy. I can love you without agreeing with you. 

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About the author
Tad Inoue is an IFBB Professional League judge, Nutritionist and Professional Diet Coach for many clients and athletes worldwide. Tad has been in the bodybuilding and fitness industry for over 32 years and his clients include professional athletes, top amateur atheletes and all other competitors in figure, bikini, men and women's physique and bodybuilding, as well as individuals interested in optimal health. Tad was a National competitor in the NPC for over 30 years and now focuses his passion, knowledge and experience on helping and instructing others in fitness, wellness and athletic competition. His education includes philosophy, theology, nutrition, biochemistry as well as dietetics. He specializes in contest preparation for Figure, Bikini, men and women's Phyisque, Bodybuilding and fat loss for optimal health. Tad is also a speaker on mindfulness, motivation and joyful positive living.