I don’t know if my Canadian friends have heard about the shooting that took place in Alexandria?
It was at a ball field where some Republicans were practicing for a bipartisan charity baseball game. (Which has since taken place). About 20 minutes from where we used to live. With just-born Ellie.
This was a targeted hit. A gunman opened fire only after confirming they were Republicans.
This country feels like it’s heart is broken. If this country were a human being, with a human soul and spirit capable of suffering I would say it has been broken for a long time. We need to start healing that broken heart.
There is a certain amount of money and political capital in brutish rhetoric, in vilifying our opponent. It gets ratings. Ratings give recognition, gives that extra boost come election time.
It is clear that no matter what your political persuasion we all want our children safe. There isn’t a Democrat or Republican alive or dead that would disagree with that.
Those two boys, sons of the Captain of the baseball team who had to dive for cover from flying bullets are a prime example of how important it is to get together to create an atmosphere of unity. This can't happen again.
We need to start talking to each other. And listening to each other. We need to turn on the radio channels and the internet feeds that support the ‘side’ we’re NOT on. At least once for every 5 times we listen to what supports ‘our’ side.
There isn’t a ‘them’. A ‘those people’. Even if we don't understand them or why they do the things they do. We need to try. Right now. All of us. Wherever we are, no matter who we’re with.
There is just us. Humans. Doing what we think is right. Taking steps to make sure the country we leave our kids is better than the country we live in now. Because we all love. We all hurt. We all strive to follow the moral codes we’re established for ourselves.
We need to have compassion for one another. And trust. And faith in the democratic political system that we’ve been using for the last 215 years. Unless someone has a better idea?
This blog post isn’t political. It’s a call to remember our humanity. Be humble. Be kind. Listen to someone you don’t agree with. Listen with the open heart of someone who is sure we can disagree, and still love each other.
With the knowledge that only together, compromising, giving and taking, can we reach the safe middle ground that allows for the opportunities and freedoms we all take for granted every day. And in this way, we can begin to heal the divides in this country.
Not starting with the president, or with congress, with us.
With the people we interact with every day. With people that, on first glance, we may have already decided we don’t like because of what they seem to represent.
It doesn’t matter what we say. The only thing that matters is the spirit in which we say it. An attitude that is respectful and open. Our views may not change but we may just shift our perspective enough to realize we have more in common than different. We may even learn something new about each other.
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Thomas Jefferson.