Throughout 2017, a cloud of division has hung over our nation. I was saddened to learn that a number of my friends are experiencing diminished and even severed relationships with friends or family members as a result of political views.
During the holiday season, our hearts are more open than at any other time of the year.
Let this be a season of healing; for our individual relationships and for our nation. Let us reclaim and celebrate our similarities, while seeking to understand our differences.
As a start, we could agree to a politics-free holiday meal. One of my friends made a sign over her dining room entrance: Politics not welcome here. At that special holiday dinner, we could set our differences aside and enjoy the fellowship that sustained our relationships over the years.
Granted, this is just a temporary solution, for there is still an elephant in the living room. The main issue remains: How do we communicate with each other around differing viewpoints, and yet remain loving friends or relatives? Emotions run high; there’s no easy fix. But still we must try, we have to start somewhere.
Let’s each make a New Year’s resolution to open dialogue with one other person, or with a small group of people. The goal would be to promote understanding in the presence of differences, in a respectful environment. With just a few ground rules this could be a harmonious process.
- Each person gets five minutes to state their political view.
- No raising of voices
- No name calling
- No interrupting
- A short question and answer period would follow
- This is for clarification only
- This is not a time to preach or debate opposing views
- Then take time to reflect on what you’ve learned and move on. You may have benefited from a different point of view, or you may simply agree to disagree.
If we can allow for political differences in a spirit of understanding and respect we can restore unity to our nation one friend at a time, one family at a time.
‘Tis the season to unite.