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Showing posts from November, 2018

Bringing people together, and transcending our differences

It's become something of a cliché to say "the country is divided," or "people and politics is more polarized than ever."

While those statements may be true, there are other, less headline-grabbing truths.

And those are the truths that Rich Harwood (the facilitator of an interfaith clergy group I belong to) reminds us of:


People are in search of ways to come together.People are tired of the current state of affairs, no matter who they voted for in 2016 or in Tuesday's midterms. People know the challenges we face today will not be erased by this or any other future election.People feel disconnected, pushed out, and impotent, but this does NOT mean they are apathetic about politics or public life. In fact, more people than ever are looking for ways to make their communities and this nation better. Above all, people are asking this question: "what will it take to build a more hopeful society, and what kind of leadership do we need to move us forward?"

Sticks and Stones can Break My Bones, but Words can never Harm Me...?

When I was a child, there was an expression, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me."

That expression was often used on the playground or school hallways as a comeback or response to bullies. It was meant to send a message back to the bully: that while someone can harm you physically with objects (by their actions), they cannot harm you verbally (by only their words).

I think the quote has some value, but in most cases, denies or ignores the reality of the power of words.

Here's what I mean:

If the expression helps you, as an individual person, grow a bit of a thicker skin -- to not to let name-calling or taunting or toxic people to "get to you," but to brush off their unhelpful comments and remain calm, confident, and focused, then fine.

However...

I think in most cases, the expression denies the reality of the power of words.

And here's what I mean by that:

Words matter. "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Pr…