I'm sure you've noticed our country's political conversation seems extra polarized right now. Even our fellow East Texans seem more antagonistic toward one another. Life is always fraught with conflict. But 2020 seems to have made this even more vivid.

This is one of the most cantankerous political seasons I can remember. Maybe the most. Going through a pandemic certainly has added to our stress levels and it seems even family members can't seem to find the common ground and unconditional loving exchange between themselves and those for whom they care greatly.

As hard as it is, it's during these times we need to stop, take a breath, and come back to the conversations we're having with a bit more grace. 

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By grace I mean, common courtesy and kindness. It means approaching those, even with whom we disagree, with a measure of respect. Yes, of course,  There are hotly contested arguments being had.

And sure--It's easy to feel our temps start to flare and to be tempted to fly off the handle. In some cases, people are writing off friends they've had for years. Unfriending on social media and disconnecting in real life.


We've all been the one, at one time or another, who was taken aback at the differing points-of-view of a friend--especially if we'd always assumed we were in the same "camp." However, if it's an ongoing issue for us, we might want to reflect.  I can't tell you how many times I've looked back on an opinion I held so tightly in the past, only to laugh at how closed-minded I'd been. There are also some views I held then, that I still hold. 

The point is--if we never listen to differing opinions, how can we hope to genuinely defend our own? If our opinions are never challenged and we don't have new information, how can we know where we actually stand on a topic--today?

What if we try and widen our focus a bit--via reading, Ted Talks, or dare one say--spending time with people with different points of view. You don't have to change your mind or pretend to agree. But--stay and calmly listen, if you can.

When I was a kid, my Dad used to tell me "people can only walk in the light they can currently see--and that includes you and me." It took me many years to understand what on earth he meant by that. Now, it is an ever-present reminder to try and be patient with those who don't "see" as clearly as we think we do about something. Inevitably, someone else is probably having to patient with us, too. ;)

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