The Politics of Compassion and Understanding: Compromise

Oct 15th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

What if your candidate fails to win on November 4? We have been about this national undertaking for well over a year.

This quadrennial episode is like final exams. It is the reckoning of how our democratic republic will be governed in the next four. Either we will pass or fail.

This time, it is as if all of us are up for our PhD dissertations. Although from the behavior of some who cry out crude obscenities, it is as if they are challenging the teacher to teach them anything.

Some will be guided by the demons of prejudice and insecurity and fear. Some will lurk in the alleys and darkened roads, looking for a way to “get even.” Some will still be acting out of an adolescence that never quite passed the grade or found its way out of immaturity and insolence. We have already seen and heard them. They have been encouraged by those who make their living stirring up the people in ways that do not deliver promise, only primordial behavior, base and ugly. Somewhere in the dark shadows, we can only hope that truth and goodness and radiant light will shine through.

Has civilization been reduced to such a low denominator that friends have become enemies in our own land? That is not the only option. Somehow, somewhere, we have available the option for civilized behavior.

I call upon each of us to look deeply into our souls and resurrect the inherent goodness and understanding required in tumultuous times. If you think the opposing candidate will wreck havoc, remember the resiliency of our democracy: We survived the presidencies of three men about whom an overwhelming number of citizens (80-82%) disapproved at some point in their tenure—Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Time has even changed the historical perspective of both Truman and Nixon.

These are my suggestions:
Resolve to live and work with those you consider ‘different’ from you;
Resolve to disagree in civil ways;
Share your hopes and dreams with everyone!
Open your mind and heart to understanding someone else’s point of view;
Discourage fear and anger wherever you see it;
Adopt a Zero Tolerance for prejudice;
And above all, Resolve to walk humbly with your God.

The operative word here is humbly.



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