Do you have a person in your family that you are very close to? I happen to have a few siblings but there is one I am especially close to. We have shared everything, secrets, hugs, tears, and laughter; but this is different. I am not sure if I could ever forgive this person. What makes this scenario even worse is not that we have two different points of view from each other, we have had a difference of opinion before. Cubs or Sox, mustard or ketchup, and The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Now it is political, there is the right way to vote and think and then there is your way. You might ask hasn’t it been like that before; the answer would be, yes but right now during this time in history it seems to be more than a difference of opinion. This fight isn’t friendly or respectful, It is downright dirty. A fight to the death. Many articles have been written about how to help friendships, marriages, and families make it through this historically difficult time in our history. The first question you must ask yourself is, what is the value of this relationship and secondly, know you never have to compromise your values or character but you do have to be straightforward with the other person.
Former President Trump and President Biden, you are either on that side or the other with no in-betweens. This time there is not a difference of opinion–you are either right or wrong. Not since the Civil War has there been so much division in the country. Torn from the headlines are stories of hate, homophobia, xenophobia and infringement on constitutional rights. These rights are all being infringed upon and questioned. Or so we believe. The news is no longer trusted and the theory is that this is all a conspiracy. There is no right or wrong, there is no common ground for trying to understand each other, or at the very least respect each other’s differences. There is no tolerance for one another. As a society, we hate openly and with diligent disregard for others’ rights to speak their own truth without caring for another’s point of view. The other person is just wrong. I am just right.
At the holiday dinner table or over the zoom call the silence can be deafening. You gave it a try, we were eager to see the other person’s point of view, yet that was not possible. Words spew from each other’s mouths and you are taken aback. Pure hate, misinformation, fake news, conspiracy theories. There is no agreeing to disagree on these points; not anymore. So, here we are left with picking up the pieces of torn-apart friendships, families, and even relationships.
With the inauguration a few days away we as a society must find a way to regain our tolerance for different and opposing views. We as a society must heal and find common ground in order to coexist with each other. Might I humbly suggest that as we pass the gravy (virtually that is) we look the person in the eye and say, “I love you and I respect you and we must agree to respect each other, we must work together to make things work. We must have regard for another person’s point of view. No more hate and hurt feelings; just love and understanding.
The saying “knowledge is power” works well here; arm yourself with knowledge. The one thing we can be very glad for in all of history never has there been a turnout for voting as in this last election. We must learn more about government, practice civil responsibility and do more than just acknowledge our differences; we must establish rights and liberties that reflect who we are now and who we hope to be in the future.