This is what happened when 2 of my friends and me got on a call – it went from being causal to caustic to in the end a calming one. It was emotionally draining. But at the end I think it was worth it.
After months of Facebook and whatsapp messages, finally all 3 of us made it to a conference call. It was exciting for we had not spoken in almost a year and although we were always connected through the latest and greatest social media disruptions of everyday live, we never communicated.
We were catching up on family, kids, life, jobs, vacations and that’s when I had to briefly switch to another call. When I got back to the call, it had changed. It was not a casual call anymore.
I almost didn’t recognize the people on the call anymore.
They were accusing one another of anti this and anti that, pro this and pro that and it was getting very personal. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was about the demonetization in India and obviously one was in favor and the other was against. After listening to the both arguing and fighting, I politely intervened and said “Guys, can you both please answer me the following”?
Are you both
In support of removing black money from the market?
Sorry for all the human lives lost?
Inconvenient about the inconvenience to the people
In support of parties voluntarily disclose the source of their funding because that’s where the bulk of the black money is
In acknowledgement that govt., the people and the media must do everything in their capacity to help those who are under tremendous stress due to this decision
So, can we agree this is how we can debate, discuss, fix and work towards the future instead of name calling, labeling and getting all personal. So can we agree that criticizing does not mean ridiculing but it’s a chance to look inside and see what can be done better. So can we agree we can have very different views but we don’t have to demean each other to discuss and debate
My monologue was followed by radio silence and one of my friends acknowledged how labeling him triggered him to react the way he reacted.
I then brought up the issue of farmers not getting enough support to help with the Rabi cropping season and both began to offer their suggestions and help.
At the end of the day both wanted the best for the country and once I understood this, I sort of ended the call with a bold statement
“Guys, one thing, if I may add, let’s not be loyal to the political parties, politicians but instead be loyal to the people in our community so we can become tools to solve the problems in our community”.
We all agreed to stay connected via social media but agreed to actually communicate via phone calls 🙂