There are 7,203,608,340 sides to every story

The ushering in of a new year is symbolic, a time for reflection, contemplation, and transformation as many people look back upon the events which took place during the preceding year. Some of these events made headline news around the world.  And many of these headline news stories sparked heated debates.

Some of the more controversial happenings placed even the most agreeable minds at odds with each other:  George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the trial for shooting Trayvon Martin, the release of the activist film against SeaWorld “Blackfish,” the rolling out of Obama Care, the federal government shutting down, Pope Francis’s nontraditional stances, the legalization of gay marriage in many countries and states, and, yes, even the show Duck Dynasty had some time in the spotlight, just to name a few.

Our planet earth is a magnificently diverse home for all of us.  And while it is undeniable that there are plenty of places we could improve on the way we interact with each other and treat each other and support each other, is there also an equal amount of room for us to understand and accept each other on a higher level?  Are these hot-topic news stories only controversial because we box ourselves into one way of seeing things and then expect others to see that way, too?   Do our differences of opinion create change or stifle it?

I’m just wondering, as we take our first steps into 2014 and think about what we want to accomplish, where we want to go, and who we want to be, if some thought might be given to recognizing that the stories yet untold and the events yet to be experienced will all be heard and experienced through the eyes of differing perspectives and filtered through the data of each individual’s unique past.  How might that level of awareness impact the way we communicate with each other?  The way we create with each other?  The way we love one another?

Is life meant to be more of a plain vanilla experience?  Are we really trying to get to a place where we all think and act alike?  Or are the occurrences in our lives, personally and globally, providing us much larger opportunities here?  Can we live peacefully and collaboratively within the shifting realm of our differences?

There are approximately 7,203,608,340 people in the world.  And as I write these words, that number continues to expand rapidly.  Perhaps the next time life presents us an opportunity to be “right” about something or we feel compelled to assert our knowingness upon someone with a differing point of view, we might consider the possibility that there is not only one side to any given story, nor are there only two sides; there are potentially 7,203,608,340 sides to every story.  And might it be possible that, ironically, somewhere deep within that complicated kaleidoscope of multifaceted thoughts and feelings and experiences lies the one thing that humanity is longing for:  peace?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at

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