The Third Option
It’s been several months of personal “earthquakes” and global pandemic, but work goes on at Apple Awards. There are so many new heroes to recognize! Owner, Dennis Smith gets back to his blog as one small step toward the new normal. He asks the questions “How do we find our way in a polarized society?” “Can we come up with that third option?”
It’s interesting that many people who speak out publicly, via news or social media, hold strong biases on their subject. Once we hear something that makes sense to us, we have the tendency (or maybe a better word is audacity) to think we are an authority on the subject. At that point, we shut down all other thinking on the matter. I hold the opinion that most of us do not even realize we do this.
A Third Option Expert
In the Gospel letters, as recorded in the Bible, we see Jesus deal with people who thought they had it all figured out. He exposed their error and countered them, turning their world upside down. His answers were typically not in favor of the righteous or the sinner but he showed them a third option, a better way, the way of creation and truth.
For some inexplicable reason, we humans have this tendency to want to feel like we have found the secret. We want to be the chosen, to whom truth has been revealed. Then we proceed to discount and exclude others who think differently. We unintentionally create a dividing line, “my way or the highway”. I use the word “unintentionally” loosely here to describe most people. But I do recognize there is evil present and it’s main purpose is to divide with intention.
One way evil does this is through fear. Author Andy Stanley states, “Fear always invites us to follow the path of self preservation”. Just like most things, fear has a useful purpose, to keep us safe. It also has a not so useful purpose, to create selfishness (hoarding the toilet paper) and disregard the needs or ideology of others.
Figuring it out…
I would love to tell you that I have this all figured out, but I don’t. But I am learning to look for mentors that I know have actually taken the time to look at and consider both sides of an issue. They usually have chosen a third option, a stand that does not alienate the right or the left (but possibly both), a stand that takes the needs of different people, walking in different shoes, into consideration.