Thanks to whomever owns this home on Common Street for the tremendous message in the yard. It’s been a tough year for anyone who cares about the electoral process, civil discourse, or just plain human decency. Most people I know are feeling weighed down by their disappointments and fears, especially those who remember a time when people could disagree politically and still break bread together.
At the church I serve, we’ve been trying to create a space where people can share what matters to them and why, without fear of being shouted down. We frame this time carefully, reviewing the “norms” we’ve agreed to before each session: We will not interrupt one another. We will respect differences. No shaming or blaming. etc. I’ve found that people are glad to hear these norms repeated each week. This is our shared creed, in a time when these basic practices seem rare in the “real world.”
November 8th will be a critical day in our journey as a nation. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “I just can’t wait for all this to be over.” But it won’t be over on Nov. 8th, regardless of who wins what. Practicing civil discourse is a skill we’ll need going forward. Let’s start now.