I sat down on the couch tonight and just wanted to lose myself in something as I ate dinner. I found the Daily Show. It was the only thing on that looked even remotely acceptable. I’ve enjoyed it so I watched it. This is the first time I’ve seen it in months. And it struck me as they were playing a clip from FOX News.

The Daily Show is FOX News for the Left.

It’s all the same rhetoric. It’s all the same finger-pointing and laughing at the other side for being oh so wrong about everything. It’s all the same mean-spirited jokes and mocking that got us to where we are today. A nation divided against itself.

We are not good neighbors. We sit in our homes and think our thoughts and wonder how the other side could be just so wrong about things. How could they be so stupid?

We're all in this together. Photo by [Nicholas Swanson](http://nicholasswanson.com/) via Unsplash.com

We’re all in this together. Photo by Nicholas Swanson via Unsplash.com

It’s because we have the same problem. We each think we’re right and the other side is so clueless they aren’t even worth listening to. We shut each other out. We cling to our thoughts like grains of sand through an hour-glass. We are so sure we’re right, we never take a moment to question our own beliefs. We never take a moment to question.

We never re-evaluate our beliefs. We’re just right. We know it. And that’s all that’s important.

But that’s not important. It’s terrible to cling to ideas and never change them. Throughout our lives we learn and change our ideas about things as we gain new information. If we took the same stance we do now as children, we’d never learn to read or write. We’d never learn to drive or tie our shoes. Or eat anything other than candy three meals a day.

We learn. We take new information in and we change our attitudes. We change our beliefs and ideas. We take in more information and that changes us. We become more understanding and compassionate. We learn empathy. We learn to respect their opinions and ideas. We don’t have to agree with everything, but there might be something they say that makes sense. There might be some truth from this person who is just wrong.

The only way to find out is to open our hearts and our minds. Learn something new. Really listen to each other. Do they have a valid point? Do they believe in things you also believe in? Do you believe the same thing but wouldn’t allow yourself to see it?

We are more similar than we’ve been led to believe. We are all on this planet doing our best. I am trying to be the best Me I can be.

It’s tiring listening to the fighting and name-calling. It’s time for some tolerance and empathy. Sure, I will never agree with everyone about everything. But I am a complex person with varied beliefs, ideas and motivations.

I am not a single thing. And neither are you.

Our personalities are all made up of many factors. We’re an amalgamation of what’s around us and what we’re exposed to. We’re sponges sucking up parts of the world.

So before I sit down and listen to one extreme viewpoint, I need to recognize it as just that, an extreme viewpoint. The Daily Show is comedy. It’s faux news. It’s meant to inform as much as delight. It’s meant to rile you up and get you hating *the other side.** But that’s exactly what FOX News is doing too.

I believe that FOX News does its viewers a disservice claiming it is Fair & Balanced when in truth it’s as balanced as one kid on a seesaw. But what’s to say that viewers of that network don’t feel the same way about MSNBC or CNN. Everyone has their own biases.

They’re all for-profit networks. It’s their job to make money and they make their money with viewers. The more viewers they have, the more money advertisers will pay. And how do you get more viewers?

Create a narrative. US Vs. Them! It’s a fight now. Everyone chooses a side. We’re right. They’re wrong. Now they’ve got you. You’re part of their side. You need to tune in and see what the other side did that was so terrible.

We are all in this together. And we are all trying to do the best we can with what we have where we are. We are all trying to get through life without instructions.

Have some empathy and compassion for those on the other side from you. We are all more alike than we are different.