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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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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