It isn’t that I’ve been living under a rock the last week, but I’ve been busy with other things and trying to stay away from all the political stuff on social media. Therefore I was surprised when I flipped on the news on Sunday morning to see the coverage from the protests during the Presidential Inauguration, which I somewhat expected, and of the women’s marches across the country on Saturday. Obviously not being a woman I probably wasn’t invited to any of them, but part of me was somewhat surprised that they happened without much advanced warning.
I’m not quite old enough to remember the equal rights marches of the mid 1970s but I remember the farmers march on Washington D.C. in the 80s and the “million man march” and others that happened more recently. It seems to me that at least once a decade there is some sort of protest that happens and sometimes they bring about change quickly and sometimes even more slowly. It is indeed the people’s right under the constitution to gather, protest and even speak out against the government anytime they feel that they are on the right side.
There are times when speaking out is necessary and other times where I question the motive behind it. What I think is forgotten far too often is the impact of the message based on how it is presented. I’ve been speaking with people lately who have been asking how to best advocate for their cause, and what I’ve reminded them again and again is that a message that is positive in its presentation usually brings about much better dialog and change that a message that is negative and backed with vandalism and destruction.
It goes without saying that on both sides of any issue you have people who can’t understand how to have a civil dialog and to make their point without causing destruction, so even when we don’t include those individuals we are still left with many who can’t seem to articulate their view and still be able to listen to the other side of an issue as well. Until one can understand how someone else feels we can never find middle ground on an issue. Too often in any issue the discussion turns into shouting and any attempt to have a conversation turns into a scene that reminds me of a couple of three year-olds fighting over a ball.
We as Americans should always use our voices and our votes to bring about change and never feel fear in sharing our views with others, but we also, as children of God need to remember that not everyone will agree on an issue and that we should still maintain civility when discussing views with others who oppose ours. Further we must also remember, that just because my view doesn’t agree fall into step with yours does in no way mean that I am intolerant; and if you truly keep listening to the first objective of finding common ground you will understand that right off. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.