I am convinced that most people who don’t get along with someone else, do so because of a total lack of familiarity with the other person or their values as a human being. As I’ve stated before, I feel like the US is currently more divided than at any other point in my lifetime. Fortunately, there are series out there like Middle Ground by Jubilee.
Jubilee (as I know it) is a great YouTube channel tied to Jubilee Media. According to their website, their focus is “to create a movement of empathy for human good.” They believe that “[p]eople want to connect on a deeper level, be challenged, empathize with one another and share vulnerably; and they want to do it in an engaging way.”
The video content they pump out on a fairly regular basis does a pretty solid job of holding that up, especially through their Middle Ground series, in my opinion. They do a lot of great stuff on their channel, but I am a huge fan of Middle Ground.
Imagine two opposing sides sitting in a room discussing their views on various topics. What if a BLM Activist and a Police Officer sat down to discuss justice? What if a sex-worker and a Christian Pastor talked about morality? What if a feminist and a men’s rights activist had a chat about gender roles? This is what Middle Ground does on a regular basis with groups of people, and the discussions are legendary.
Take a few of my favorites…
These are people who would likely never run in the same circles in real life, or even in similar filter bubbles on Social Media, and they are FINALLY doing what I think we all need to do to get along better: Speaking to each other. Middle Ground facilitates that.
I Praise this Series, Because…
Somehow Middle Ground allows people the safety of learning and exposing themselves without really having to put any skin in the game. The series gives everyone (myself included) the opportunity to hear something outside of your echo chamber and do something that a lot of us think we do, but really might not be doing in our daily lives — make a somewhat more informed decision based on empathy.
Yes, we can read all of the articles we want to – but until you’re seeing the human behind the text or the facts and figures your discovered stats are representing, there may be very little empathy there.
There are instances of suffering and injustice all over the world each day, and many of us (myself included) don’t care about EVERYTHING. That would make your life incredibly difficult if you bore the weight of the world on your shoulders like that. It is human to filter some of those things out that may not impact you, your loved ones, or your way of life. I repeat: “It is human to do so.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t TRY to be better.
I like this series because it provides an arena for me to at least try to understand some perspectives I may not have considered. Middle Ground lets me try to see things I know nothing about (beyond what I may read in some random article).
To me, Middle Ground is a good representation of one of the more positive things the internet could be as a whole. Yes, masses of us will always want to buy things and talk trash about whatever event concerning people we’ll never meet (this is also very human) – but things like this series help us try to build understanding, and what I consider to be true wisdom.
We all aren’t fortunate enough to have small talk with strangers, like say, a taxi-driver might (and I do genuinely mean “fortunate”) and gain a more naturally open perspective. Everyone doesn’t have the lifestyle of a bartender or Dave Chappelle, either having tons of strangers come to chat with you about their life (the bartender) – or you traveling the globe and talking with hundreds of thousands of people over your lifetime (Chappelle).
All of our lives aren’t enriched in this way each day.
Middle Ground brings us a little bit closer to that opportunity, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite YouTube series. Again, their channel is great – and if Middle Ground isn’t your thing – maybe they have something else out there for you. Either way, I hope Jubilee keeps doing their thing for a long time, and I hope I’ve put some of you onto something new and potentially worthwhile.