Can We Agree On Anything Anymore?

You’re Actually NOT Alone: Unpacking “Collective Illusions”

“Most Americans share common aspirations for themselves and the country… the problem is that they don’t believe that most Americans share their values.”

That’s Todd Rose, a Harvard professor and New York Times bestselling author. He’s describing the central concept of his latest book, Collective Illusions.

A collective illusion is exactly what it sounds like: something false that most people accept as true. They prevent us from finding common ground needed to solve big problems.

How do we break through these illusions? By realizing that as Americans, we broadly agree on what we want for our country.

Admitting this fact doesn’t mean papering over our differences, which are very real and very deeply held. But it does mean acknowledging that our differences aren’t all we have. We can still work together on issues where we agree, which it turns out are dime a dozen.

The bottom line is this: We have much more in common than we realize. In fact, we have more in common than we have differences.

That’s the starting point on which we can build community and trust – and ultimately, progress on society’s toughest challenges.