Last year was the year when lines were drawn in the sand. There were the Trump and Never-Trumpers, there was Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, there were the Me Too’ers and the those who dismissed them, there were conservationists and climate change deniers. Families and friends parted ways because the lines ran deep. They went beyond the indentation your finger-tip makes in wet sand. They were deep crevices in the Earth’s surface, formed after generations of transgressions, and hurts and a lack of communication.
So here we are. It’s 2018. If we leave the cracks untended, they will grow deeper and eventually the hot magma beneath will erupt. We must tend to them and let the healing tides of understanding and conversation wash through them. Where they can’t be mended, we must build bridges.
Bridging what divides is our editorial theme for the first quarter of 2018. This is an election year. Last year stirred many of us to engagement, and inspired us to speak out and make phone calls and write emails. That dedication must continue, but beyond that, we’ve got to begin healing. It’s important to remember that the beliefs we hold dear and true, and although we may not agree with those who sit on the other side of the “crack”, their beliefs run just as deep. They won’t go away any more than we will. So we must learn to live together, just like we have for decades before this one.
The upside, (and I do believe there is one), is that we can be stronger. The division this country has witnessed over the last year is the result of years of us glossing over real issues that must be discussed. Racism still exists. Women are sexually harassed on the job. Parts of America have been ignored by Washington and feel there is a swamp to be drained. We’re finally talking and having the long overdue conversations.
We challenge you look for bridges you can build in your community. Where are the divides? What are the commonalities? And let us hear about them. Join us at our Advancing the Issues Tour across the state. Sign up for our Writer’s Collective. Engage your neighbors. In 2018 work with us to Bridge What Divides.