It’s June 2020, and we are entering a new phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. At this time, government and businesses are trying to re-open the economy as quickly as possible. Most Americans, on the other hand, are still hesitant to go back to normal, fearing a second wave of COVID-19 in our communities. In fact, we’re already seeing a troubling spike in cases in many states.
And even if you’re not too concerned about the coronavirus, it’s been an emotional and tumultuous year in so many other ways. First of all, it is a tense Election year. Politically speaking, people are so divided that even families are split along party lines, and formerly close friends have become estranged. Recently, the topic of law enforcement and racial injustice has strained us all further, and we have seen the best and worst of people: unity and compassion, as well as conflict and violence.
In difficult times like these, it’s too easy to become outraged and pick a side. It has happened throughout human history, and we’re not so different. We feel entitled to make it a clash of US vs. THEM. To take offense and strike back. Even to wish ill on the other side.
A Path to Our Best Selves
But there is a way we can short-circuit that knee-jerk reaction. Jesus told his disciples: “Love one another as I have loved you.” In this commandment, he wasn’t talking about romantic love or affection for “your people”. It’s about genuine care and compassion for ALL people. To know in your heart that we are all brothers and sisters.
Every single human being wants to be seen and appreciated, valued and respected. You do, I do…it’s universal. Regardless of whether you share a viewpoint with someone or disagree bitterly, both sides deserve to be heard and acknowledged. It’s how mankind has managed to find common ground for thousands of years. It doesn’t have to be easy, but it has to be a part of how we live our lives.
Even warring countries can take a step back from years of aggression and bloodshed to work towards peace. As a free and democratic nation, we must recognize that it’s possible for us to work together in improving our society. We need our leaders to be their best selves, so that they can truly represent the people of this country. We also need to be OUR best selves, so that we foster unity and community in all the ways we can. That’s how we will overcome the adversity we find ourselves in today.
It doesn’t take much, but it does require a change inside all of us to find common ground and keep us unified toward a greater purpose.