Surprise! People who strongly disagree should just break bread together.

There are 3 questions you should ask someone you disagree with.

Almost everyone has at least one issue they feel strongly about.

Maybe yours is marijuana legalization. Maybe it's abortion. Or maybe it's even an issue that's local to you, like whether your city should put in a trolley.

But somehow, in spite of all the information out there that you've carefully considered, there are all these "weirdos" around who feel differently than you do.


Do you say to yourself, "Ugh. What an idiot, right? How could they possibly arrive at such a different conclusion when the facts are the facts?"

And yet, thinking, caring people disagree with each other all the time. In fact, one forward-thinking lady has an idea so wild, it just might work. Elizabeth Lesser, author of the best-selling "Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow," thinks we should do something radical with people we don't see eye to eye with — take them to lunch.

To understand why, consider the story of two contentious coworkers.

They worked in a small but busy office and often grabbed lunch together. They didn't know each other very well at first, so they only talked about safe topics, like their workload and their families. They really enjoyed the pleasant conversation and company to break up a long work day. They had a few laughs and even began to consider themselves friends.

Image by Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.

Pretty soon, conversations started to get deeper and onto trickier topics. It surprised them both to find they barely agreed on anything. Whatever happened to come up, be it women's rights, unions, gay rights — you name it, they held diametrically opposed views.

They would get in fervent matches of one-upmanship, escalating their pitch and volume until their conversations devolved into shouting matches and then huffy silence.

They stopped inviting each other to lunch. No longer did they speak to each other about anything — not even about their spouses or children. One had no idea when the other's wife fell ill. One was completely in the dark about the challenges the other was going through with her daughter.

Image by Jörg Möller/Pixabay.

And so they sat, with their backs to each other every day at work. They were two humans with the capacity for human caring and connection — not to mention two humans who really could have used a good friend — choosing to not demonstrate it because they were so put off by disagreeing with each other about world issues.

The two coworkers' story is a sad one, but it doesn't have to be like that.

Elizabeth Lesser is on a mission to make people of the world better able to connect with those they have fundamental disagreements with. She points out two of our inner human traits — the "warrior" and the "mystic" — and counsels us on how to set aside the warrior in order to have fulfilling connections. Yep, even with people with whom we think we can't possibly agree on anything.

Lesser wants us to seek out these people in our lives and take them to lunch. While we're there with them, she wants us to bring up these three questions or prompts (and to offer up your responses as well).

1. Share some of your life experiences with me.

More often than not, you're going to be surprised to learn you have some common ground in some aspect. When it comes to children, relationships, caring for aging parents, or other personal items, there is an awful lot of room to find something to connect on.

2. What issues deeply concern you?

Surprise! While you couldn't disagree more when it comes to abortion, maybe you are both on the same side when it comes to the vote your city is taking on its water sourcing (work with me here!). Furthermore, perhaps you're both ready to get more active in alerting your communities. You could be valuable resources to each other. Or something like that.

3. What have you always wanted to ask someone from the other side?

This is a fun exercise in identifying the distortion that can happen when we only listen to people who agree with us. Both of you will probably find that the other's perceptions really need the context you can provide in order to be more accurate. Here's what Lesser and her lunch partner discovered:

"I asked her why her side makes such outrageous allegations and lies about my side. 'What?' she wanted to know. 'Like we're a bunch of elitist, morally-corrupt terrorist-lovers.' Well, she was shocked. She thought my side beat up on her side way more often, that we called them brainless, gun-toting racists, and we both marveled at the labels that fit none of the people we actually know. And since we had established some trust, we believed in each other's sincerity."

Why should anyone take the time to do this when we could be having lunch with people we already agree with?

Lesser's argument for taking the time to do this is compelling. At some point, it becomes untenable for people to only care about and interact with those whose ideas they like. The world around us, in its everyday operations as well as coming together to solve big picture problems, needs us to learn how to be more inclusive.

In addition to her three questions, Lesser recommends setting some easy ground rules to make your lunch date go smoothly. Her full talk is worth the watch.

So what about the sad story of the two coworkers who couldn't get along?

This may have been a plot twist you saw coming, but that's actually just how their story could have gone. Luckily, Ruth and Antonin took a different path. That's right — I'm talking about Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Instead of focusing on their differences and turning their backs on each other, they spent their energy together on their similarities. And for a great many years, they enjoyed a wonderful friendship that defied everyone's expectations.

Scalia and Ginsburg. Supreme Court Justices and the ultimate "odd couple." Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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