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These Coming Times

Published: Dec. 4, 2020


First, I feel relieved about the 2020 election.  A relief that replaced anxious despair.  It feels like no longer being caught in an undertow. And, also, I am feeling apprehension, about the extent of aggression in our country.  Although I feel inspired by the first address to the nation by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, it may be a mighty task ahead to unite our nation.  People seem to be responding to differing sources of “information.”

And there are places where people do come together, despite differing political leanings.  People on the roadways agree to honor traffic signs.  People work together on tasks at workplaces, as well as on sports teams.  I am reminded of those working in suicide prevention, when people are “convinced” by what they are thinking, and are then able shift to an alternate possibility.

Listening and acknowledging are perhaps tools to begin with in finding common ground.  Not trying to de-bunk the other, but de-fuse the fear; invite teamwork to solve issues.  All bringing in water to fight a fire.

All attempts at unification, of course, are predicated on a willingness to place the good of others and of our country above individual gain.

Although I may not be able to influence anything on a Congressional level, perhaps, as an individual, I can drop into my heart before speaking, rather than react from emotions or prior mindsets.  There are success examples in Restorative Justice.  Or, the use of stories and examples to open possibilities.  Quiet persuasion of positives in Letters to the Editor.

Steps moving forward may include: to listen to what is underlying; to defuse fear; to think inclusion; to ask questions, rather than accuse or argue.

I long to see us pull together, to model and to teach our young people, to respect one another.  And to focus on re-building the infrastructure of our nation, both inside ourselves and across our country, new bridges of all kinds.

from Claudette Cervinka, Davis Friends Meeting (12/2/2020)