There has been much discussion over the ability of the American people to become more accepting of our many differences and to try to mend the deep divide in which we find ourselves. Unfortunately, the division seems to be more like a huge chasm, similar to Civil War times (“Election shows country’s racial divide,” Nov. 5). For what it’s worth, I would like to add just a few thoughts for reconciliation of my own.
First, last and foremost, we must put our love and respect for each other before our political views. In my personal experience, I have close family members and friends (whom I have known forever) who do not share my political beliefs. No question: Those differences are stark. However, my deep and unwavering love for them supersedes any political beliefs that I hold. This realization gives me pause to consider what are the qualities that these loved ones possess that evoke such a steadfast love?
When one considers an individual, one realizes that we are all multi-faceted, the sum total of many parts, and there are so very many traits, values and beliefs that have nothing to do with politics. Our political views are only a portion of what makes us who we truly are. And it is in those similarities, that we find the attributes to love. Rather than focusing on the political, can’t we simply look at all the wonderful, unique, lovable virtues of those with whom we disagree? Our family and friends are not the enemy. They are good, kind, decent, compassionate people who love their country and are as patriotic as we are.
I sincerely believe that the healing begins within our own circle of family and friends. We can do this, one step at a time. This Thanksgiving (whether we are able to be together or not) let us consider our family members and friends with whom we may disagree, and thank God for their being part of our lives. Like the song says: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Linda deKowzan, Lutherville
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