Iowa Specialty Hospital

From Ashley's Perspective

August 23, 2021

Finding Common Ground~

I recently had an opportunity to attend the National Common Ground Conference. Common Ground is an organization of farmers that focuses on having conversations about how food is grown and produced with consumers. With that in mind, at the conference there was a panel of six mothers who shared their views on food and how they make their purchasing decisions with a large group of farmers.  While at first you could say the two groups had a lot of differences from where they live, work, and how free time is spent. However, after the group of mothers were asked if they have any guilt or more commonly known as “mom guilt” every one of the panelists shared; there was guilt either for not spending enough time with their children due to their jobs and other responsibilities, or they spoke about their guilt for not contributing as much financially to the family and being able to give their children everything since they are staying at home with their children rather than working outside of the home.  After these moms shared so openly, I was talking with many of the other attendees and they had a realization of how similar we all were facing the same challenges and guilt as mothers.  What a revelation! While we live in different areas of the country, and even very different settings from very urban to rural, we had many things that were similar. This allowed for a shared conversation about food and what goes into producing safe and healthy meals for all families. 

My reason for sharing this story with all of you is that I think we all need to take time to focus on what we have in common with others and creating conversations rather than focusing on what is different. It is amazing how much you can learn if you when you are willing to truly have a conversation and listen to the other person, seek to understand, and find a common ground. 

Therefore, my challenge to you this week is for you to take the time to find something you have in common with someone who you would have normally first seen differences. You will be surprised by the difference this small change can make. 

“The differences that separate human beings are nothing compared to the similarities that bond us together.” ~ Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

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