If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all (Romans 12.18)
My friends include a wide variety of political categories.
Liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians and Greens, along with a host others, form a broad base of those close to me. Some center their vote on life issues, others on the Second Amendment, still others on justice-peace concerns, another group on economics: the list is endless. No matter who we vote for this year, I trust that we can all can be of the same mind on some baseline human issues.
I hope we can agree that we should . . .
. . . be grateful to live in the U. S. of A.
. . . be in wonder at a country where we do not imprison the election losers
. . . be wary that when we take down our lawn signs we don’t replace them with invisible fences
. . . be obedient to the rule of law knowing that the best law is to rule ourselves
. . . tell the truth about others, without spin, interpretation, sarcasm, or defamation
. . . question others who do not tell the truth with clarity and courage
. . . stand for peace, as much as it depends on us, and stand for those who cannot stand for themselves
. . . realize that another point of view is not an attack on us, automatically wrong, or worthy of retaliation
. . . choose to protect life from womb to tomb
. . . treat people as people instead of treating people with our preconceived ideas
. . . remember our nation is not based on any one person, party, or position
. . . focus on unity over diversity
. . . know our solutions to problems may be fraught with difficulty, unintended consequences, and more potential troubles
. . . ask questions before we offer answers
. . . listen to others’ points of view before we list all the reasons we disagree
. . . side with what is right, prevent what is wrong
. . . be grateful for others who have given us so much
. . . be forgiving of others who have taken so much from us
. . . judge others less, ourselves more
. . . remember that the person in the seat, cubicle, or house next to us is a human being just like us
. . . be thankful for the conservative who begs us to remember the past
. . . be thankful for the liberal who begs us not to forget the past we don’t like
. . . seek common ground before a common enemy
. . . make sure our disagreements do not turn into divisions
. . . recognize the problems with our nation begin with ourselves
. . . honor the wisdom of age-experience and the energy of youth-exuberance
. . . take care of our own first, relying on government programs second
. . . respect the farmer who grows the food and the banker who lends money
. . . use hyphens less (African-American, Hispanic-American, Euro-American) and “American” more
. . . help to meet the need when we see someone in need
Commitment to our collective humanness should cause us to be vigilant for what makes America great.
To all my friends, no matter your political persuasion, you will always be my friends.
Mark’s view of friendship is summarized by the Tracey Lawrence song, “You Find Out Who Your Friends Are”.