As I listen to or read the news, it seems the vitriol is getting louder and more caustic. At times, talking with neighbors about the state of our Nation and State, it seems that the depth of the Grand Canyon is less than the rift between neighbors. Our conversations have become masked by hyperbole and our patience for different opinions is “gone with the wind." We recede into our cubbyholes or lash out with vengeance all due to a sense of hopelessness.
So, I will edit a well-known slogan that, if taken to heart, may open our senses to the eddies and currents our nation now tumbles through. I propose we “Make America UNITED Again”. I don’t mean this to be quaint, but rather provocative. If “WE, the people” are to realize our nation’s struggle that “all humans are created equal”, then we must first embrace each other.
I ask everyone who lives in our community to reach out to your neighbor, work partner, family member and share the goodness of each day. Then share how the challenges of the impeachment, the agonies of a dysfunctional government, the pains of working hard and receiving little affect our national and communal sense of place. Talk to folks, but even more important, listen to others whether at home, at work, in the market or even in the media. My parents taught me that “If I have a difference of opinion, then I have the opportunity to learn and the responsibility to listen.”
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If we are to “Make America United Again”, to heal the wounds caused by divisive partisanship and one-upmanship, then we must listen --- with respect.