Finding Common Ground….Where Do We Go From Here?
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
I woke up this morning filled with words. That’s how it works with me. What I write just kind of shows up…a spark, an idea. Sometimes I let it sit for a while and marinate. Other times I will wake in the middle of the night and head for my office.
I know I am not alone in my flight of ideas today. So many of you woke this morning with a rush of thoughts, some anxiety, and maybe a list of questions and concerns about what happens next in your life and country. This presidential election has been like an out of control roller coaster ride, careening the world to the point of nausea.
We all wished it would just end. And now it has. So what now?
If you think this is going to be a political commentary, you’re wrong. I’ll leave that to the experts to dissect.
I want to talk about where we go from here not as partisans, but as people. We have two very different conversations happening in this country. And no matter how politically astute you feel you’ve been in the last 18 months, the reality is that you were probably hearing only one side of the hopes, dreams and fears of this nation.
During this process, I made a point to visit all news sites. I believe it’s important to be informed by a variety of sources. I would exclaim to my husband that this country is having two completely different conversations. This morning, I reflected on that observation. Initially, my belief was that was solely a media driven reality. I now understand that it was much deeper than that and needs to be where we start to bridge the gap between us.
Now, we need to get on the same page. We need to find common ground. We need to take our next steps with an open heart of love and kindness, even if that seems like the craziest thing you could ever imagine at this moment.
Now, before you mean tweet me, give me a second to explain.
I’m not asking you to agree with everything you hear. I have strongly disagreed with many points of discussion throughout this campaign. I’m not asking you to change your values or sell out on your moral belief system. In fact, I think you need to be more steadfast than ever before.
I’m asking you to begin this next chapter with a focus on common ground. Don’t begin with the things you hate. It will separate you. And as long as we remain separate, we remain broken. As long as you refuse to talk to someone because you “can’t believe they” act, believe or talk in a certain way, you will remain uninformed about the pain they feel and the help they need.
I remember having long late night conversations with my father about life. When we discussed complex issues, he would say, “Sometimes, the truth lies in the middle Kelly. Look in the middle of any issue and you can find common ground.”Sometimes the truth lies in the middle. Look in the middle of any issue and you can find common ground. Click To Tweet
That is where we need to begin.
Today, we stand at the crossroads of conduct. The success or failure of this country is not completely dependent on the behavior of one person. It is determined by how we all behave from this moment forward. Because after one of the most divisive campaigns in this country’s history, we all need to decide to act a little kinder, to listen a little more, to understand our civic responsibilities to our neighbors….ALL of our neighbors. We need to tend the seeds of possibility for this nation that were planted well before us and will continue to grow long after we’re gone.
Because the truth is that the greatest threat to this nation is not terrorism, it is the quiet and deadly virus of division. Kindness is the cure, and we need to begin the treatment today.The greatest threat to this nation is not terrorism, it is the quiet and deadly virus of division. Kindness is the cure, and we need to begin the treatment today. Click To Tweet
How we behave in this moment will determine where we go. How we respond to uncertainty, loss and change determines the life we create for ourselves and the people around us. I know this to be true. From the ashes of a shattered life, I fully understand the power that we have as individuals to choose to rise after we fall, to forgive after faults and to love others when it would be easier to retreat into our own pain.
Take time today to plan your path of peace. Understand that true power lies in the way we love one another. Know that someone needs to make the first move, and it might as well be you.True power lies in the way we love one another. Click To Tweet
Meet me in the middle?