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Paying Attention To Words We Use

The importance of being clear about what we mean

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A comment on the post I shared yesterday got me thinking about the words I had used. I'd written about connecting with 'like-minded' people and realise I hadn't really paid attention to what I meant until I read this response:- 

"...also good to connect with people with opposing/ different/ contrasting life experience and views".

Giving it some more thought now, what I meant by it was finding people you have something in common with, an interest or an experience you share perhaps. It may be just one aspect of your life where you have a common link, and in coming together to connect around that may well bring you into contact with other aspects of each other's lives and experience which are in contrast to your own.

I realise my interpretation of the words I used, comes from my own perspective on life. I tend to focus on what we have in common, rather than what separates us. I am curious about people with opposing views (I tend to be very good at seeing both sides - which can be challenging when it comes to making decisions...).

In one group I belong to, our ages span five decades, we live in five different countries (and these aren't all where we started out in life) and perhaps half the group have English as a second language. We have a diverse range of life experience, skills and talents. Yet, we have a common connection in The Creatives Workshop we were a part of earlier this year.

This is a group of people I would never have met if I hadn't taken this particular workshop. Other than the workshop, it would appear that we have little in common. Yet, what we discover as we meet up week after week, is that we share many similarities as we journey through life. The themes that connect us in our weekly calls are universal, and so often relate to what it is to be human and how we approach this adventure called life. It is a wonderful group, and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

It feels like this taps into the huge questions in society about the way we treat each other. The default is perhaps to look for 'difference', what separates us, and not what is it that connects us.

The intention behind my work with Time and Attention is to provide a non-judgemental space, where people are free to be themselves, and for the short films I share to allow others the opportunity to connect with the essence of what it is to be human.

I know there is huge scope for increased diversity in my film subjects and that is something I seek to address in the coming months.   
I am really curious to know what your take on 'like-minded' people is. Does it mean staying in a comfortable bubble of people just like you? Or, does it mean finding one thing you have in common and connecting through that? And, in my view, we all have something in common - we are having a human experience.
This feels like it could be the beginning of a really interesting conversation. Certainly, it has got me thinking about the language I use and the unconscious assumptions I make.
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