To the editor:
A week after Election Day, we have fresh evidence of the deep divisions across our country, as if months of protests and violence weren’t enough. Why is this? While we do have genuine problems to solve, are our differences so severe as to dwarf all that we have in common? Or have we given political opportunists, social media and group think too much influence over how we think about and respond to the world around us? I confess that at times I have.
Regardless the cause, what’s to be done? For starters, consider reinvesting where we spend our energy. Fixate less on political opinions, and devote more time to coaching sports, leading youth programs, or volunteering at the local food shelf or another service organization. Activism and organizing are fine and sometimes necessary, but we can satisfy larger unmet needs and make a greater impact by working alongside people who don’t necessarily walk, talk or look at things how we do.
Personal connections earned through volunteerism make it much easier to solve social problems in our community. It’s also more difficult to insult or dismiss others for their point of view when you know them or people like them personally.
We’re entering what is traditionally a giving time of year. Let’s use it to reflect and recommit to just being better neighbors, friends and family members, and to making better investments of our time.