On Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Time
I believe in driving myself to be a better person. I believe in challenging myself to be a better human being, but I do not believe in driving others to grow at the point of the argumentative blade. Will this accomplish much more than resentment or encourage much more than the thought that I am trespassing on an individuals will to learn at their own speed and to perfect themselves at the pace which they have set forth as right in their own minds? In questioning the ways of influence I can see no better course than inspiration. Does this not cause a person to turn inward and confront what may be holding them back? Does confrontation not defeat this purpose? Who moves forward when badgered and told that their ways are wrong? I have not met them. But who, that is not wholly lost, can refrain from questioning why they feel or do a certain thing when the better angels of their nature cry out to them across the great fields of their malformed convictions? Let us then address our fellow men not through arguments that enflame passions long polluted by feelings of discontent and hopelessness, but inspire our neighbors by appealing to that which is common throughout the body politic: Humanity. There is no one among us, not beyond the grasp of decency, who can withstand the call to uphold the right. If we do not arouse the passions of a lifetime of neglect, oppression, or powerlessness we cannot fail to touch those who disagree with us. We are all one. One man, One neighborhood, One city, One state, One nation, One world, One humanity. One life, One love, One God. Let us treat each other so and we will not be so easily divided or dismissed. Amen.