“We’re better than this!” – Rep. Elijah Cummings; 2.27.2019
Fiery passion is wonderful when used to inspire or protect others. The same dynamics can be used to further divide people into partisan tribes.
But we can be better than this. For our sake, and the sake of our children’s future, we must be. We have to learn how to respectfully be united without being uniform. We have friends and family, people we love and admire, who disagree sharply on some of the most heated topics of the day. But are we shouting so loud that we can’t hear?
Is our loyalty to “team” more important than our fidelity to truth or principle? Are you more aligned to the ideologies of a particular party than you are to ideals of our nation? Do you view everyone who sees differently than you as inherently wrong, and thereby labeled as belonging to a specific side of the political spectrum?
While there is truth in the sentiment that “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”, there is room for reasonable people to disagree with us without being demonized. There is room to listen, and acknowledge not only someone’s right to have a different opinion, but the deeper truth, that our staunch defense of certain “truths” has morphed over time. Is it not true that some issues that many of us ardently adhered to just a few years ago, we now see in a different, more nuanced light? Haven’t we grown to learn that the more we understand, we begin to realize that the less we truly know? With that enlightenment, aren’t we able to more sympathetically hear our neighbors with pause and consideration, with an open heart that doesn’t require uniformity over unity?