This blog post is a song request by +Shannon Vulu
When I think about learning something new that doesn't sit quite right with my own personal philosophy or goes against the beliefs and values that I have been raised on, Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" comes to mind. Before I can begin to discount what other people say who I may not agree with (you can't say you hate somebody, when it's really their actions or words that you might disagree with), it is important to separate the issue from the person. As we all know, once you make things personal, it can get ugly, or unprofessional or just plain messy and off-topic or random. Other problems can eventuate because you chose to get personal with somebody rather than resolve the issue.
What happens when that somebody may not wish the issue to be resolved? What can you do then?
Depending on the situation and how much you can affect some positive change (we're not talking how much control or power you have, but how you can make something happen for the greater good), some challenging conversations may need to be had. How honest the other person can be, well. that also depends on what their motivations are. Do they want a resolution or do they want control and power?
When I think about how I can better understand people who I may not understand, I put on my "empathy glasses" and try to see things from their perspective. It can be hard at first to do this, I'm not saying that you're going to replace your beliefs with theirs, but it is important to consider why they think the way they think, what factors contribute to these beliefs and how these beliefs impact on your world and how you can co-exist, even if you can't agree.
But one thing you do need to be careful about, if you think too long and hard about the issue that seems to perpetuate the divide that the issue creates between you and that somebody, Bob Marley says none but ourselves can free our minds.
And even if he was talking about a different context on larger national and global scales, I don't think you can make an impact in wider circles until you can communicate well in your interpersonal and intrapersonal perspectives.
To me, Bob Marley exemplified authentic leadership from an intrapersonal approach (Shamir & Eilam, 2005). From the music he created and the response from his countless fans worldwide, he was able to co-construct authentic leadership from an interpersonal approach (Eagly, 2005), especially when he asks the listener "who will help to sing these songs of freedom."
So emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.