America is inherently a place of awe – inspiring heterogeneity rather than mind-numbing homogeneity. Some of that heterogeneity inevitably includes social, cultural and political counter-currents and much-needed debates regarding how to deal with the disparities and indignities around us.
But that fact alone does not necessarily mean that we are fated to live forever on a battleground where polarizing (if not paralyzing) divisiveness keeps most of our best intentions and innovations from being realized. Or that “one side” is inevitably locked in stalemate with another.
I recently learned that a political leader in our locality had a probable stroke, but already seems to be showing some signs of recovery. And yet the last times I talked with him, he expressed weariness and disillusionment over the growing divisions in our rural community regarding mining, highway traffic and access to jobs with live-able wages. He felt he was being personally attacked for his views.
But whatever his views may be, I do not wish to see anyone in our rural community or another taken to the brink of death by the weight of dealing with battles in our community.
I wish him a quick recovery but I also wish our community a recovery from years of either/or politics…. Dualistic thinking and vitriole threaten lives.