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We have all been through a year of hardship, pain and loss. We are – en masse – feeling the stress of not knowing what this year will be like. The only thing we know for sure is that it will be different.

I have friends and colleagues wondering how they can take what’s happened and make something good out of it. Many are turning to what they really want to see, but without including other viewpoints that they don’t agree with. This approach, while understandable, is what we’ve been doing for a long time. It’s dividing us further and further from each other.

There is a podcast I listen to often, called On Being, hosted by Krista Tippet. Lately, she invited 2 Christian US leaders – one Episcopal and one Southern Baptist – to discuss with her audience what they see in terms of a coming together and real openness for the other. The podcast is titled Spiritual Bridge People.

In preparing for this podcast, Ms. Tippet asked people to send in their concerns. One of these people asked “Why would I put myself potentially in harm’s way, for example engaging with someone whose views tell them to deny my personhood, or that my pain isn’t real?” That question grabbed my attention, because it’s something everyone – left, right and centre – is feeling and asking.

Much of what these 2 men believe I probably wouldn’t follow, but I do believe in what they are offering, to be part of a bridge that crosses all kinds of diversity, learning to treat each other with regard, able to stay in relationship, even when they disagree.

Last year (2020) was a year of hardship, pain and loss. This year could be too. It’s up to each of us to change that, and to help – really help – make things better.

Why it’s worth listening to people who disagree with you

Quote of the Week 

“We will either learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we will perish together as fools..”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.



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