The Politics of Reconciliation


November 7, 2020 by Greg Friedman

The 2020 election is finally done and over with, but it left a road of devastation along the way. Casualties of this election cycle included personal relationships between family, friends and countless strangers.
For as long as we can remember, there’s been a saying that there are two things you don’t do in mixed company. You avoid talking Religion and Politics, because it can lead to uncomfortable conversations.
For whatever reason, politicians in general can be loved and hated, and for many, we live vicariously through them.

This year was like no other election. With every fiber of our being we wanted to violently shake the other person, scream at them, even hit them in some cases.  How could they possibly think that way?
How can they support someone so obviously vile? How can I trust your judgement? Please, for God’s sake wake up!
It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on. It doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, practically the only thing we can agree on these days is a majority of us are feeling this way.
Right now, at this very moment of time, we, all of us, citizens of the United States of America are living in a country that has been as un-united as can be recognized or remembered since, possibly the civil war. In so many ways, these times mirror that time of extreme division. Brother against brother, friends vowing no longer to be friends.  So many diametrically opposed positions causing us to have visceral, primal reactions. All insisting we are right and the other is wrong and horrified that other cannot recognize what is so incredibly obvious to us.
Why can’t they see?
Why are they so blind?
What if I told you those are not the vital questions to be asking in this moment?
What if I suggested that the real question is how do we heal, how do we once again become united?
Too often, we forget this country was not made great because we all think similarly.  This country was built on a myriad of different perspectives, different cultures, and different ways of thinking. It is our differences that inspire us to grow and to stretch beyond what we even realized was possible.

Self Reflection

Be careful not to demonize the people who disagree with you… for in our self-righteousness, we can easily become the thing we dislike in others.”
Only the weak need to bully others into lockstep.  If we believe then we need to have the courage to accept, allow and appreciate others for who they are as they are.
The key is to love the imperfect, flawed and in process version of yourself so much that you then pass that same grace on to others.  Every one of us is flawed. Every one has strengths and weaknesses.
Rumi, a Persian poet and theologian was once asked by a person deeply suffering what he should do with his pain and sorrow to which Rumi replied, “Leave it, the wound is the place the light enters you”.
Be gentle, be accepting of who and where we are in this process and we will all grow through this.
We are all in pain. The pathway through all of this craziness is compassion, compassion for yourself as you struggle and compassion for others because even though they don’t think like you, they too are struggling.
Remember, no matter where we stand, everything is so amped up because we are passionate, because we care.
We have gotten so busy trying to win that we forget our strength lies in our ability to love and have compassion.
Are you strong enough in who you are to allow another to be who they are?
Every single person is a mirror reflection provided for our benefit.
Can you see yourself in the other, especially in those that you deem to be so different and possibly even deplorable?
If you can, then the light will enter and we will begin to heal as individuals and become united as a whole.
It is now time to start building bridges instead of walls

Vicente Fox


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