Margaret Thatcher passed away yesterday. My social media feeds filled up with responses from my friends. Some praised her highly as a great politician, but others, through clenched teeth, acknowledged her tenacity and strong will, but they couldn’t get past their dislike of her politics.
I love that I have friends—really close friends—from every point along the political spectrum.
Some of the people I love most in this world feel most comfortable out on the far right on many issues. I disagree with them most of the time, but I like that they give my life balance. Some of the people I love most in this world are so far to the left they threaten to topple off the end. I disagree with them sometimes, but I love that they give me a different perspective on things. I have friends who run political campaigns for Liberal candidates, cherished friends who have the ear of Conservative politicians at high levels, and other friends who vote NDP no matter what. It makes life interesting (especially if they’re all in the same room at the same time).
We humans tend to congregate with people of like minds, because we enjoy it when others endorse our viewpoints, and we want to avoid the unpleasantness of disagreements about core value issues. Even our internet search engines recognize our preferences and cater results to suit our world view. It’s easy to get stuck in a certain pattern of thinking.
But that’s not what life is all about, is it? A life well lived involves evolution and personal growth. For that, we need a challenge—something to push us out of our comfort zone. That’s what my many varied friends do for me. They challenge me to really think about issues. They provide a colourful collection of options.
How about you? Do you have a colourful collection of friends in your garden? If not, maybe you need to try a new garden centre and plant a few different seeds, just for fun.