I haven't written a blog post since last November. Lots has transpired since then, both locally and on the world stage. I've heard and read a lot of perspectives that are divisive, bitter, hostile and full of vitriol. It's disappointing and concerning. On almost every topic, you'll find polarization. Reason and understanding take a backseat when the talk gets emotional.
What's not reflected in those many polarized views is that at the end of the day, we all have to live together. We can't spend our days slagging our neighbours and then expect to have a happy, safe and productive society. Our communities face challenges of many sorts, but the only way we're going to overcome them is by working together.
It sounds so easy, but we all know it's not. Differing belief systems of every kind get in the way. The structures and institutions we have in place can also throw up roadblocks. Whatever the barriers, we are all going to need to work on our communication skills. Moving away from rhetoric and towards really listening, understanding, respecting and caring for people who have views that aren't aligned with yours is the biggest challenge. Once we find common ground, we're going to need to be creative in figuring out ways to move forward in a way that respects people's values.
I'm not suggesting I have answers to the problems we need to overcome, but I believe that together, we're going to get there. It's just going to take time and effort to figure it out. I'm hoping for the best, from all of us.