What really connects us with someone? Is it the vibe, common interests or just a hunch that he/she is my ‘home’? In this digital era of constant gratification, we often connect more with people who understand us or share and respect our causes, personalities, temperaments, aspirations or hobbies. We may swipe right on someone’s profile if their unique personality or visage seems charismatic. The ‘charm of opposites’ too may play its part, but ultimately it is all about how well you bond beyond your differences and accommodate each other as an individual.
With rising religious and political polarization, there is unrest and violence brewing all across the globe. Extremism is becoming the ‘new normal’ and intolerance is gradually creeping into our lives. Relationships and friendships are turning sour just because we don’t agree to disagree. I have seen several friendships end for good just because they rooted for different parties during elections and couldn’t see eye to eye on their ideologies. I have also heard of years of relationships and marriages falling apart just because the partners couldn’t stand the contrasts.
I wonder if social media and excessive consumption of news are to be partly blamed for this. It is definitely good to be aware, have opinions and indulge in debates. However, at times we often forget these are only a part of our identity. We are much beyond our labels and perceptions. After all, I would be a complete dolt to part ways with my best friend just because I support Trump and she supports Biden. Trump isn’t going to hear me out when I want to rant or be my cheerleader when I am competing. I don’t have wonderful travelling memories and food trails with Modi. I don’t call up Rahul Gandhi when I am confused between having a chocolate brownie or chocolate fudge.
So, hold your horses when you see your loved one going all gaga over a politician you despise. It may get to your nerves and you would want to inject some sense into their ‘muggle blood’. Take a few long deep breaths, exhale through your mouth slowly and then speak out. It is completely healthy to talk and debate about your differing views without being too emotional. Educate and ignore. Let it go! You aren’t winning an award, lottery or an elixir for converting someone into your ideology. So, is it really worth it to argue over something and dent your relationship? How tough can it be to peacefully coexist with differences? Moreover, stop being too judgmental about someone’s choices and values. Even yours are not stamped for perfection, so who are you to dole out certificates to others? Eat, sleep, be merry and celebrate life! No one will make it alive anyway. Your spats and differences are minuscule in this magnanimous and mysterious journey of life, live light and don’t let your perceptions and labels sway your relationships into adverse corners.