Attend a sporting event in a pre-COVID world, and when the home team takes the ice/field/pitch/floor, the fans cheer. Next, the opponent enters, and the boos and embellished chants commence. It is the way of professional sports and entertainment, or so it has been modeled.
What if the same were true for our workplaces or community activities? What if we were cheered when we volunteered for one organization, but the same group individuals cast aspersions upon us when we took action for another cause? What if we were shunned when we turned down the offer to contribute to one enterprise because we invest deeply in another organization? What if we conspired to derail outside vendors we hired to make ourselves more significant?
What is the cost of cheering for everyone as the foundational cornerstone of new interactions? Years ago, E.O. Wilson visited our community as a guest lecturer. He spent time in the local high school, giving a brief lecture and then questions and answers. No matter how poorly formed the question posed by a high school student, he directed the first sentences of his response praising the student and predicting they would achieve remarkable heights employing their curiosity in a future trade. The world-renowned entomologist wanted everyone in the room to succeed, and he cheered for them in every interaction.
What if we cheered for everyone?