Phew, what a bitter election season. Oh, I know it’s not over yet, but our votes have been cast and we can stop trying to convince each other our candidate is better.
All we can do is live BETTER.
It’s time for healing; it’s time for unity.
Only humility will lead us to unity, and unity will lead to peace.Mother Teresa
Trust me, I don’t say this because I’m not invested in the results of the presidential election (and local elections). I care deeply and worked behind the scenes creating videos and ghost writing, and running FB and IG accounts and websites to promote the candidates and values I believe are best for my community and our nation.
Chances are your values look a lot like my values.
Chances are, 50% of you voted differently than I did.
How can that be? I think many of us feel confused when friends, family, members of our church community, people who we love and respect, feel completely differently on key issues.
I don’t think we’re actually that far apart. Yes, there’s the far left and the radical right, but most of us lie closer to the middle. And it’s not that we have completely different values, it’s that we prioritize them differently.
Look, I think
- we all believe in treating people with kindness and respect.
- we care about babies and mothers
- we care for the poor, the sick and the elderly
- we believe in the worth of every human being
- we cherish freedom
- we care deeply about our families
the list could go on and on.
When I ask for furniture and supplies for a refugee family, everyone pitches in. There’s no political dividing line. We take dinners to each other and work on school carnivals and rake lawns for the elderly.
And yet, we’ve lost sight of that during this election season. I’ve seen so many people pointing fingers at each other and TELLING them what they believe rather than LISTENING. “You’re a racist.” “You’re a baby killer.” “You’re a socialist.” “You don’t respect women.”
It’s time to stop labeling each other. It’s time to heal.
I’ve been thinking about unity. Our October General Conference spoke over and over about unity in a time when the church feels deeply divided. A few phrases keep coming to my mind. Sister Sharon Eubank pled with listeners, “the change we seek in ourselves and in the groups we belong to will come less by activism and more by actively trying every day to understand one another.”
And from Elder Cook, “Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity.”
and again from Elder Cook, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.”29 Oneness is what Christ prayed for prior to His betrayal and Crucifixion.“
Unity sounds pretty, but it’s not easy. It’s messy work. I know I want to be part of the solution.
I have some ideas. I’d love to hear yours.
Hey, I’ve started a Facebook Group The Unity Project. Come and join if you’d like to be part of the conversation.
Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you are, something you do, and something you give away. –Robert Fulghum
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.Nelson Mandela