SOCIETY appears to be divided on so many issues these days; and extraordinarily it would seem that the division is often close to 50/50.

All those for versus all those against – whatever it may be.

At least it would appear so according to public surveys and votes.

Can it however really be that the average human being falls either into one camp or another?

A little exploration within one’s own social circles in fact often shows a rather different picture.

It generally shows how differentiated and diverse thoughts and feelings are on any given issue; and if one would only take the time to truly listen to the views of the other person, it is quite possible to understand where they are coming from without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing.

This differentiation however quickly disappears when we are offered choices that are of an either/or nature, and we quickly find ourselves unwittingly aligning with one ‘camp’ or another.

This is a great loss for society for it drowns out all the shades of opinion that quite rightly also exist; and worst of all breaks down trust and unity among us in society.

This divide becomes even greater when one is no longer permitted to question the views of others.

Do we really know so much that anyone can claim to have the final answer on any particular issue; even the so-called experts?

One can well ask how well we are informed.

Do we really have all the information that we would need to make a reasoned and thoughtful judgement, or do we just allow ourselves to be swayed by the opinions and emotions of others, whether it be those of our family and peers, or those of the newspaper, television and social media news editors.

It would appear indeed that if our modern social life is to flourish and grow strong, rather than divisive and polarised - irrespective of what the particular issue may be - the very least we could do is work hard to keep ourselves well informed from as many sources as possible; reserve making hard one-sided judgements and really make space to listen to the views of others.

A healthy social life can surely never simply be a question of black or white.

In truth, there do appear to be as many views as there are human beings.

Is that not a good thing, a wonderful thing in fact?