If you know me, you probably know that the only bumper sticker that I have had on my last 3 cars reads, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I have never been able to comprehend war. I really don’t like it when people hate other people. In college, I remember that I would cry when I watched the news. Now I feel like the news is surreal. I cannot understand why there is so much fear and hatred. I feel the need to say something.
I believe 2 things:
- Peace is Possible.
- Civility is Mandatory.
Membership in Team Humanity is more important than one’s affiliation with a political party, a religion, a race, a gender or a sports team. These types affiliations usually coerce a person to choose a side, and to think less of the other side.
It is Human for us to be drawn to communities with common backgrounds and beliefs. Leaders of these communities too often, for reasons of power and control, and/or money, incite their constituents/members/fans to feel disdain or hatred for “the other side.” Our job as the members of a community/party/church… is to think for ourselves. We need to expose ourselves to experiences and information from inside and outside of our communities.
Pointing fingers and name-calling will never change the mindset of those who do not agree with you. Fear-based rhetoric only serves to deepen the divide and cause the other side to dig their heels in and defend their ground. We need to find common ground.
We need to have conversations with people we don’t know, and with people with whom we disagree. In my experience, most people are not fanatical far left, far right, supremacist, or otherwise extreme haters. For instance, I am a hiker. I hike with Democrats, Republicans, Atheists, Religious, Spritual, Straight, Gay, Trans, Male, Female, Single, Married, Young, Old…. Our common ground is the love of walking up and over mountains. During the walks through nature we have a long time to talk. I have found that all of these people are more in the middle than even they might think. It seems to me that most people have the ability to have empathy for those with whom they do not agree.
These days, worldwide, a powerful few are using their power to divide instead of unite. When we are busy hating and fearing our fellow human beings, we don’t have the time or wherewithal to properly participate in democracy. Let’s not let the greedy few win. Let’s start uncomfortable conversations and begin to find common ground. Let’s make decisions based on facts and what feels right and good. Let’s try to all get along. 😊
Oh… regarding voting. I beg, my friends, that you consider voting based on character and history instead of straight-ticket voting. This country’s government is designed with checks and balances. For it to work, we need a government run by good people that represent all of the county’s people.