Seriously. After all that — in the middle of an ongoing, uncertain pandemic — how do we heal?
This is not solely some sweet-sounding, gentle Intramuralist encouragement. It’s also not written simply because Nov. 3rd has passed. With Joe Biden looking to have secured the Presidency, Democrats losing significant seats in the House, and the Senate to be fairly evenly split, there is no party mandate; there is only a divided people living together in a nation in need of healing.
Note the recent, combined words of Biden, Bush, and Obama…
“Let’s give each other a chance… We must come together… Reach out beyond our comfort zone… listen to others… lower the temperature and find some common ground from which to move forward, all of us remembering that we are one nation, under God…”
Hence, we ask again: how do we heal? … even in continued uncertainty?
Allow me to respectfully submit it’s by becoming authentic conduits of humility.
(Note that I didn’t say it’s by (a) fighting harder, (b) convincing myself I see all rightly, (c) convincing myself there is nothing good in another person or party, nor (d) all of the above. Just want to be clear.)
So to become an authentic conduit of humility — first some definitions, albeit in reverse order:
humility | (h)yo͞oˈmilədē | n. – a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.
Humility means we keep life in perspective. Better yet, we keep self in perspective. That means we never fall prey to an inflated sense of self — adopting the lie that we’ve got life, politics, or whatever all figured out and only another has something significant to learn. It means we don’t look down on other people… especially on the 75 million people who voted differently than we.
“What do I not understand? What can the person who thinks differently teach me?” … Humility means we care enough to assertively pursue those questions. And sit still with, soberly pondering the answers.
conduit | ˈkänˌd(y)o͞oət | n. – a person or organization that acts as a channel for the transmission of something.
A conduit means something flows through us. To be clear, something is always flowing through us; we are active participants in this coming together or not. Will we come together for good? Give others a chance? Reach out to those who experience the world differently daily?
Know that everyone has opportunity to be a vessel through which virtue flows. Unfortunately, no less, many will choose to use their role to encourage vengeance, antipathy, or increased cancel culture. Let us be people through which all blessings flow. To be clear once more, vengeance, antipathy and cancel culture are never confused with any sort of blessing.
authentic | ôˈTHen(t)ik | adj. – of undisputed origin; genuine.
What a wonderful word is “authenticity”! That means we are who we say we are and we do what we say we do. Our integrity is not in question.
Does “authentic” mean we are perfect? Of course not. Until one of us walks on water this side of eternity, I’d say we each contribute our fair share of error, encouraging disrespect and dishonor of someone. But our authenticity shows we are genuine in our efforts. We are committed to heal.
What’s the opposite of to heal?
To worsen. Split open. Divide.
What’s the opposite of humility?
“Pride divides, but humility heals.”
So how do we heal and not further divide?
By becoming authentic conduits of humility.
Let us each not allow any person, party, or someone who wants our money or our vote lure us imprudently otherwise.