The Space In-Between


Look at a diagram that shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of different sets and you’ll see a Venn Diagram.

The diagram shows the space in-between or shared area.  The example below shows the gray area in the diagram by Vishen Lakhiani runs Mind Valley in Kuala Lumpur.


If you’ve been involved in the debate about “Guns vs. No Guns” in the U.S… then read this Facebook post by Vishen.

Over the weekend I dedicated my FB page to bring more awareness to gun violence in America. This is the key thing I learned from the 1200+ comments the posts generated.

First, I did this because I care deeply about the lives lost to mass shootings which occur on almost a daily basis in America. I’ve met a mom who lost her child at Sandy Hook. He was my son’s age. I can’t imagine the grief.

And I agree with the President’s statement that America as a nation cannot just let this be ‘routine’.

But here’s what I notice. America’s biggest problem is not gun violence. Or abortions. Or illegal immigrants. Rather it’s an inability to ‘listen’ to the opposite site and see the commonalities. Almost every major issue in the news is reported in stark black or white. Right or Left.

Yet often, the answer is found in the space in-between – within the shades of grey.

Anti-gun advocates scream for the removal of all guns so we’re all safer.

Pro-gun advocates scream that guns are needed for us to be safer.

Both are flawed arguments. Because no conclusive evidence exists for either.

But notice what we have in common. Both want all of us to be ‘safer.’

The media trains us to see things as Left or Right. And to see the other side through a lens of “Us vs Them” that is so strong that we forget that the other side are also rational, good human beings.

Just with a different news source.

I tried an experiment. I posted a stat on Gun violence and stated that “We should not take away guns as they are a big part of the American psyche”.

Yet almost also the disagreeable comments I got missed this point and ranted about how owning guns was a constitutional right.

So how do you start solving the gun issue? Focus on the grey zone that both gun advocates and anti-gun advocates agree upon. And it has to do with making guns safer.

87% of gun OWNERS support criminal background or “Brady” checks for all gun purchases.

But by April 2013, when the Senate considered a bill to do just that, the N.R.A. helped defeat it. Today gun and ammo companies are protected by laws so absurd that they cannot be held accountable for poor safety or stronger background checks.

As a result guns fall into the wrong hands. Professor Webster argues that smarter gun policies could reduce murder rates by up to 50 percent – that’s 5000 American lives saved a year.

Yet few people focus on this singular issue because both sides are screaming at each other.

If America got its act together and focused on solving the simple issue of better background checks plus accountability for gun dealers and manufacturers, we can go a long way to saving lives. And the best part is that BOTH sides already agree on this.

The best ideas are rarely black or white. Instead you find them in the shades of in-between grey. And you learn to see the grey when you listen more and scream less and seek to find commonalities with the other side and not obsess on the differences.

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