Friends, Enemies, and Tomorrow.

     If you’re like me, everywhere you turn these days you see people who are so emotionally invested in politics that they are willing to consider their fellow citizens as enemies for no more than a difference of opinion about politics or politicians.

     What has happened to us?

     Up until a few years ago, it seemed as if we could all accept the fact that we disagreed on some things, yet remained amiable. We might have some animated discussions about politics at times, but we remained friendly, as a rule, to our neighbors.

     This has changed for many people this year. Some among us have allowed themselves to become so emotionally charged with the political arguments that they have apparently lost sight of the fact that in the end we are all still friends and neighbors. Instead, they have succumbed to the base temptation to assign those who disagree with them to the status of enemies.

     Again, what is happening to us?

     Let’s admit one simple fact: No two of us will ever agree on everything, but there will always be something with which we can agree with one another. There is no way around that fact. At any rate, when the discussion ends, we will still have to live with each other to some degree. We will still be neighbors.

     Yet some of us have decided to engage in the “enemy” game. They have lost sight that these political differences are simply differences in opinion on what our community problems are and how to solve them. That is all it is.

     Is a difference of opinion enough to justify having our community split into hostile divisions because some of us are willing to spread animosity and vitriol rather than engage in an honest discussion about the potential problems and solutions? For a rational person, I would think not.

     As long as we have a government, we will always have differences in how each of us thinks that things should work. We can’t escape that fact.

     The real solution is to enter into the discussion with all interested parties with an honest and open mind, having respect for the facts as they present themselves. In doing this, we must all bear in mind our obligation to love our neighbors and treat them with the same courtesy which we would expect in return.

     Still, we will all encounter those who would seem to value division and strife over neighborly good will, and who will level accusations without evidence, and insults without merit. I would ask the reader to, please, do not respond in kind, but instead simply remind these people that this is simply a disagreement over how best to manage our community. We will still be neighbors after the disagreement, and shame on us all if we allow such a debate to make enemies out of friends.

     If we want progress, we must discard the enmity and bickering, and embrace friendship with honest and truthful debates.

     Will tomorrow see us as a community of friends, or as several groups of enemies?

     It is our choice.

     Pray we choose wisely.

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