Friday, January 27, 2017

Bridges, not walls

Divisiveness is nothing new in our society or in our world. Lately, however, it just seems to me the voices are getting louder and the chasm is deepening. Two days ago I read in Jan Phillips' book No Ordinary Time (written in 2011 but so apt right now):

"Fear is in the air now because each side is building a formidable case for its rightness, and the energy that might be spent on solving the problems is going into proving the other side wrong. The butterfly will never get off the ground if the right wing is at war with the left wing.

"The answers that we are seeking lie between the right and left and the only way to access them is to move toward the other, to re-pair the opposites. But one look at our culture—from our religions to our media to our politics—reveals a history of opposition, a 'divide and conquer' disposition."

What a good reminder. As someone said at the Chicago women's march last Saturday, "If you take a wall and lay it down on its side, it becomes a bridge."

Yes, we need to build bridges, not walls—as tempting as it is to keep yelling at each other from the other side of the chasm. We need to somehow listen to each other and move toward "the other" rather than away from. We're all in this boat together.

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