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Respect works September 9, 2012

Posted by Barbara in Uncategorized.

“Our judgments, like our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own”   ~ Alexander Pope,  An Essay on Criticism

I find myself troubled these days.

It seems that as the political season heats up, the emotions that each party tries so hard to stir up will stifle us, drowning even the warmth of friendship and family in a cauldron of half-reasoned excuses and Facebook flames, leaving us with a smoldering emptiness where no-one wins.  It would be good to believe that all this would pass once the election is over – but regardless of which party raises their banner on November 7, our social problems will remain for a long time to come.  There are no magic wands.  We are entering a period in our own personal history where we will either work together as human beings in caring communities or we will die of thirst wrapped in our own egos.

I’m sure I’m not the brightest little star in the sky.  It’s hard to sift truth out of the soundbites, rousing speeches and ads meant to demean rather than inform.  The issues are complex and don’t distill well into simple infographics – no matter how hard we try.  But there are a few things I know.

I know that if an issue seems obvious and simple, we just haven’t learned enough to even ask the right questions.

I know that my friends and loved ones who may not share my perspective are not idiots, as the media flame wars would have me believe.

Neither am I.

I know they are not selfish, uncaring, cowardly or unpatriotic.

Neither am I.

I’m hoping they can see me in that light, even if our approaches to solving the problems may differ.  I’m hoping that as real people, in real communities, we will still be able to speak not only with respect, but with a love driven by real friendship.  That we can learn together, share our ideas and solve our problems together.  That we will find ways to soften our words and broaden our viewpoints.

This is not a pipe dream.  It’s a necessity.

And I have to believe in our ability to get there.


“If I am right, Thy grace impart still in the right to stay;

If I am wrong, O, teach my heart to find that better way!” 
                                   ~ Alexander Pope



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