Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finding common ground

Yesterday with the ceremony and festivities surrounding President Obama's second inauguration, I was reminded of the importance of times when we put aside our differences and simply celebrate our commonalities.

So often these days we decry the incivility and the partisanship that seems more intense than ever. Is it worse than it ever was? Or are we making more of it and thus it seems worse? Honestly, I don't know. What I do know is that we each have a part to play in bringing more civility into this world.

It all takes me back to the questions I asked on January 3 in my blog: Are you a peacemaker? And what does it mean to be a peacemaker? These are some of my big life questions.

If there is to be peace in our world, in our society, in our communities, in our families, it is up to each of us. "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." It isn't realistic to just point our fingers at others—at our leaders at any level or anyone else—and expect them to create peace if we aren't willing ourselves to live in a way that finds common ground.

I'm continuing to think about what I need to do to be a peacemaker. When I disagree with someone and we're on completely different sides of an issue, can I stay in the conversation long enough to find a third way, to find that common ground? I want to be open, I want to listen better, I want to be about peacemaking. That doesn't mean I give up my integrity and go whichever way the wind blows. I can stand by my most important beliefs and yet listen to others as they clarify theirs.

How do you seek common ground? How do you see peacemaking?

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