A group of Wake Foresters gathered over dinner in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 6, 2018, to discuss Pro Humanitate in a polarized society.

Working cooperatively across real or perceived differences is not easy and is problem in our society today. We dig in and trumpet our views louder in the face of an opposing viewpoint rather than acknowledging that a mission and purpose can have more than one side. The legal profession has the daily opportunity and responsibility to teach and model the right way to interact by listening before responding. This​ approach should be a common cause for everyone: serving our community, while treating those who are different and who have opposing views with respect.

  • ​”​Together”​ is an important word, particularly for any voluntary organization. Together, we can do so much more than we can alone. Focusing on together bridges all sorts of differences.
  • Compromise does not have to be a dirty word. An adversarial process does not mean there has to be personal animosity​.
    Common goals and shared experiences can and should lead to a better outcome and a focus on a sense of higher purpose or something larger than ourselves.
  • Working across differences can be made easier by following 3 important points: 1) being honest and truthful about how you feel; 2) expressing disagreement civilly, respectfully and professionally, and; 3) having a common cause or shared value (as in the greater good).
  • Social media, email and a lack of conversations like these are barriers and threats to working cooperatively. Lawyers, parents, mentors and teachers need to model the appropriate way to be in relationship with each other, regardless of our differences.