Post-election, many Americans celebrated. Many others wept. Regardless of political leanings or deeply-held moral beliefs, this is the America we now face.
As the door closes on the current American era, a new era knocks.
This era is one of political wars and supremacy. It is an era of privilege that, when left unchecked, fuels the fires of hatred. It is an era of smartphone domination and government power versus American freedom. Frankly, it is an era of fear. Perhaps many aren’t afraid, but rather ecstatic for the newest American president. Perhaps many are angry, filled with rage at protestors calling for “Black Lives Matter” or for LGBTQ+ rights. “ALL lives matter,” some may scream.
But the reality is that many people are afraid, and they have lost their hope.
On the tail of rememberance of Martin Luther King Jr., the Andersonian staff can’t help but wonder what MLK Jr. would say today. He had a dream. For a while, it seemed as if his dream had been achieved. But here we are now, regressing.
How do we snuff out the fires? How do we make conversations like this one end? How do we create unity in a nation that is so clearly divided on each side of the battle lines?
Someone once said that the only difference between humiliation and humility is that humiliation is the result of being pushed.
Here we all stand, the divide clearly marked. On each side, we toss our grenades of humiliation at the others. Everyone loses. We all get hit.
Change starts not in Washington, but at home. We urge you to love those who disagree with you, fellowship with those whose views counter yours, seek to understand those who differ so greatly from yourself.
Place yourself in the shoes of someone who looks, thinks and acts nothing like you. Consider that from their perspective, they are in the right in their viewpoints.
Most of all, forget politics. Think of the commonalities you share with someone who differs from you, and reach out to others based on those commonalities.
Venemous words never win over a stranger. The only way we can discuss important issues with others is by first maintaining friendships, and by communicating on the basis of love. Only then will our conversations about controversial issues and politcs, in a divided nation, be effective. Only then will we be able to listen and be listened to with open hearts.
No matter your political affiliations, let us remember the most important aspects of our humanity: we were all made in God’s image and we all want peace for our families, our communities and our nation. These facts must be the starting and ending points for our interactions with anyone, like or unlike ourselves.