What is Common Ground?

  • Category: Education,
  • Words: 770 Pages: 3
  • Published: 14 March 2021
  • Copied: 198

Hello my name is Kevin Hoang and, as you know, I am a freshman at Pacifica High School.  I’m here to talk about what it means to discover your common ground and why it is important for everyone to know why and how to make full use of it by knowing how to look beyond the surface and put aside differences for a main goal.
For starters, growing up I noticed how being “different” or “not the same” as everyone else left people feeling non included and made them hide their emotions and real personalities to try to fit in. With this constant feeling of not being able to express who you are, putting aside who you really are will lead to difficulties as you grow into adulthood such as anxiety or depression.  This happens all around us and I think that finding real equality or common ground is about moving on from first impressions and setting aside the past to grow as a person.
Now that you understand why I'm trying to clarify common ground, you need to be able to understand why the human race will be brought together by common ground to continue through the years. Let's say there are two groups of all unique people with unique abilities, but what they know is not mixed and shared by the two groups.  Why don’t they share their talents?  Because they cannot and do not see beyond what is on the surface to see the potential that is waiting to appear.  This is similar to the story presented by Sandra Cisneros in the short story “Those Who Don’t”. 
What happens in the story is similar to my earlier example in which there are two groups of diverse people. One group is “normal” and one group is “dangerous”  but who they really are is what the two groups do not see(Cisneros).  These ideas, these differences, these fears with no action led to the loss of something that could have been better.  They live in fear of one another and a cycle of differences without seeing what could be if they put aside their differences and united to find their common ground as one.  
 Following up on this, I can relate to this story of two opposing groups, but instead of allowing my group to be held back by differences in personalities and appearances, we were able to take the next major step and break the tension between us and the other group and become good friends who grew together from our mistakes as a single group recognizing that we had found our common ground.  It also goes to show that it is necessary to know how and why having a common ground is important but to be able to take action and do what it takes to find it.  Moving beyond what was on the surface and recognizing that we were more than what we were on the outside let the groups mesh well and become one pushing aside the common issues such as race and religion.
As for another example of putting aside viewpoints on the surface level to get a point across and create a common ground for individuals, we can look at Eboo Patel's blog post "Making the future better together. In one passage, Patel discusses how President George Washington was used by Martin Luther King Jr. as a sign of democracy and how King was able to overlook the fact that the same man he was using to get the group of people on his side may have owned his great grandparents as slaves(Patel). 
What this means is that King knew that the past had happened and there was little he could have done about it and felt like it was possible to find his common ground with the president in order to share and emphasize just his thoughts and ideas.  And as we know, King’s ideas and hope for his people continue to live on to this day due to his ability to find common ground using his words and the past.  This also further shows how much greater, stronger, and wiser you can be as a person when you can set aside distinctions and utilize the past to be stronger as individuals.  
Ultimately, recognizing that it is not as easy as it sounds to find common ground, but it is important for us to develop as individuals. Continuing to take steps and concentrate on trying to see both sides of an issue and consider what it takes to become stronger and develop as a person is more important. Just because you have found your place or your common ground, as you continue through life, does not mean that everybody has, the meaning that you can always assist other people to take action to find theirs.

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