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Understanding "The Other"

I'm not a TV watcher. I don't own a television and am exposed to very little media. My knowledge of the current NFL standings is laughable.

And yet, yesterday I was pulled into the fray of TakeAKneeGate simply by visiting Facebook off and on. Tempers were at a fever pitch, and ugly words were being used by those both in support of the anthem public protests and those opposed to it. Instead of posting a few words, people were crafting fiery responses several paragraphs long. Nearly everything I read was from an either-or, black-or-white perspective. I'm right; "they" are wrong. No middle ground. No discussion. No understanding or even willingness to understand how truly painful it is for those holding the alternative view.

Empathy is in decline in our world. This critical skill -- understanding another person's condition from their perspective by placing yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling -- has been subjugated in favor of rigid righteousness. We are fracturing under the weight of our own individuality. The "United" part of the United States of America is becoming harder and harder to find.

I don't know what the right answers are in this increasingly-partisan climate. I have personal opinions about the critical issues facing our society but I am choosing to keep them private. However, I do know that I can and do help in the best way I can: by educating people on the importance of mindful productivity and how empathy is improved through the practices I share.

The more grounded we are, the less apt we are to lose our tempers. The quieter our minds are, the better we can truly listen to others. The more focused we are, the better we can step away from setting fire to our Facebook feeds and actually take action that will support the causes we hold dear. Mental training doesn't just help us make more time, get more done, earn more money, and have more fun. It allows us to be better Americans. Better leaders. Better moms and dads. Better friends and colleagues. Better workers. Better humans.

So, today I am going to hold in my heart those who are feeling angry, disenfranchised, unheard, and disrespected. You are so much more than what others are painting you out to be. You are Divine. You are magnificent. And you are worthy of being heard and understood.


Theresa Rose is an electrifying business motivational speaker, award-winning author and expert on mindful productivity who helps organizations and their teams make more time, get more done, earn more money and have more fun. For more information, visit

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