Yesterday I wrote about the things I love that were given to me by my conservative upbrining. Today I was going to share some things I love about my mainline church (as well as some things that make me incredibly frustrated, since I'm an insider there now).
But I'd forgotten that today was Super Tuesday. And I'd forgotten — as much as a person can during a presidential election cycle — how truly depressing this campaign is.
I was looking at the results because ever since I was a reporter I've been an elections junkie, I was reminded of how divided the country is. I don't remember ever seeing it quite like this.
I've seen the two parties hating on each other. That's pathetically normal. But within the parties there seems to be division on things that really matter ... deep division.
I found myself worried tonight for my country. Can we weather this? Can we live through our own hatred and the crazy ways we express it.
So I did a Google search for common ground, looking for something that would make me feel like not everyone is out for themselves.
And I found this amazing organization, Search for Common Ground, that is helping people figure out their differences without violence.
When I read that 19 out of the world's poorest 20 countries have experienced violent conflict in recent years, it made me stop having a pity party and remember that I live in a place where people can vote and express themselves, and for awhile now, that hasn't led to war.
Search for Common Ground is a young people's movement, which gives me even more hope.
And even though I'm not the target demographic, I signed their pledge, which reads like this:
We believe our different beliefs, values, and backgrounds should never stop us from working together. We believe we can change our response to conflict, from destructive to constructive, without compromising who we are. We know we don’t have all the answers, but we’re willing to search.
I will do my part to end violent and destructive conflict in my life, my community and the world.
Idealistic? Yes. But right now (and always), the world could use more idealism. They're looking for a million people to sign and then get emails with challenges and practical ideas. I'm hoping they're useful because the world needs them.
I need them.