Building Bridges

It seems that the world is hopelessly divided; between a red America and a blue America, between the coasts and the heartland, between those who support black lives and those who support blue lives. We at MovementForward, Inc. think these divides are false, that there is more that unites than divides us. Moreover, in the face of these apparent divisions, it is more important than ever to bridge differences

We believe this approach is important because being able to see another’s perspective facilitates the discovery and implementation of mutually beneficial solutions. An article in Psychology Today notes that there are five aspects of perspective-taking:

1). Realizing that everyone has a unique perspective
2). Understanding that a person’s perspective shapes what he or she experiences, creating bias in favor of prior perceptions.
3). Accepting that we can have different perspectives at different times, as our position changes.
4). Knowing that the same message can be interpreted differently depending on the perspective of the receiver
5). Realizing that misunderstandings occur when we assume everyone perceives matters as we do.

By taking these premises into account, we can reduce misunderstandings, find common ground, and most importantly take advantage of the diversity of perspectives. When we approach what appear to be societal divisions in this way, we can find common ground that develop solutions that have majority support and reduce the perceived barriers between us. This is not always easy, but it is a solutions oriented mindset and the type of strategy that undergirds the work here at MovementForward, Inc. Our first issue area is criminal justice, but over time we plan to address other societal issues that are seemingly intractable by facilitating shared understandings. We hope you will join us in this work, starting with joining our email community so that we can provide you with updates on our work and how you might get involved. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Editorial Disclaimer: All blog posts are contributed by a member of the MovementForward, Inc. team in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in the posts are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of MovementForward, Inc. or any other partnership associated with the organization.

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