Corona splits the family – Meyer advises
Talk about it
Corona has left a deep tear in our family. What can I (m, 64) do as their leader?
Thomas Meyerwriter and columnist
The Latin «discustere» means «to divide, to disassemble». What is meant, however, is an object, not the opposite. That’s exactly how discussions are often conducted today: as an existential struggle. One’s own opinion is felt to be absolutely right, and a different opinion to be necessarily wrong – and therefore an attack against which one has to defend oneself.
In Iran, dissenters can earn themselves the official title of “enemy of God” with deadly consequences, and we think that’s really terrible. But it’s only the extreme application of an attitude that is also widespread among us: I’m right, and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.
Discussing at this level, i.e. examining a matter objectively, is not only difficult but impossible. But we don’t want to discuss anyway, it’s far too exhausting for us. We just want to be part of the right team. As soon as a topic comes up, we just check how our team feels about it and our opinion is already formed. And the same as the enemy.
Cracks that appear in this way are difficult to repair. Everyone involved should realize that they don’t want to be part of the right team because there actually is one, but because they don’t want to tolerate contradictions. For example, that the measures to protect against infection saved lives, but destroyed economic livelihoods. Both are true. It’s hard to bear. Especially since you can no longer scold. Rather, one feels reverence for those who had to make decisions at the time.
Don’t discuss politics with your family. But about the crack that this has created. Lead by example and talk about how you’re feeling.