I don’t know about you, but I chose to avert my eyes as election returns came in. It was my way of dealing with the stress—of caring deeply about outcomes and at the same time knowing whatever happened, it would not be a resolution but rather setting the stage for the next episode of our national political brawl.
So here we are, winners and losers, with some things changed but our key dysfunction about the same. We are still a nation divided. So we at Living Room Conversations are offering you a conversation guide to begin to heal this rift. It is one opportunity—an opportunity to remind us of our shared hopes and ideals. From the What’s Next U.S. guide:
“This conversation allows us to start exploring ‘what’s next.’ Whatever our differences, let’s look for deeper unities we can rest upon and promote, such as Generosity, Kindness, Dignity, Respect, and Freedom. And let’s explore how common values and a shared desire to solve common problems might help us move forward together.”
Among other questions, you will have a chance to answer one or more of the following:
What does the outcome of the midterm elections mean to you?
Despite partisan division, what core values do you think Americans fundamentally agree on?
Have you had any relationships damaged by politics? How might you begin to repair them?
You can have this conversation over the weekend with friends! (Remember, the more diversity in the conversation, the more productive and fun it will be. So invite a friend with a different viewpoint to co-host with you). Share it with your faith community or club. All the instructions you need to have the conversation are right here. Or you can join folks from around the country to have this conversation by video on the International Day for Tolerance, November 16th. There are going to be conversations about tolerance happening all around the world! We are inviting thousands of people to sign up for conversations offered Friday the 16th, Saturday the 17th, and Sunday the 18th. All you need is a good internet connection and 1 hour. You can choose among six different conversations on:
What’s Next U.S.?
Many people believe politics follows culture, not the other way around. I’m not sure I can say one goes before the other - they are clearly linked. I do believe together we must choose to embrace respect and dignity as fundamental to our culture and politics.
Thank you for being part of this work to mend the frayed fabric of America.