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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ending Binary Thinking--The Power Of AND


The Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai once wrote:

From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow 
in the spring. 

The place where we are right 
is hard and trampled 
like a yard. 

But doubts and loves 
dig up the world like a mole, 
a plow. 

So much of our national conversation has degenerated into highly polarizing either-or debates. We fail to realize how much better it is to do more both-and thinking.

For example:

Can we defend the right of people to own firearms for legitimate purposes
AND
support reasonable regulations on their purchase and use?

Can we respect and support police officers
AND
hold those strictly accountable who behave unjustly?

Can we recognize the legitimacy of the "Black Lives Matter" movement
AND
recognize and affirm the value of all lives everywhere?

Can we be strong advocates for the victims of crime
AND
be strong supporters of release for offenders who are willing to take every step possible to rectify their wrongs?

Can hold an ideal of marriage as between a man and a woman
AND
show compassion and care for people who are born with a different gender orientation from our own?

Can we love America for all of the ideals represented in its founding documents
AND
call the nation to accountability when it does not fully live up to its core values?

Can we be staunchly pro-life
AND
show compassion toward women dealing with an agonizing decision regarding a pregnancy?

Can we support the right of the state of Israel to exist as a free, democratic and safe nation
AND
call it to task for its denial of those same rights to fellow Palestinians?

The list could go on. What would you add to it?
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