We are friends

So much has been written and said about the rising growth of hate in our society that I hesitate to approach the subject. But personal experience is teaching me that people whose values and views differ from my own are not evil. They don’t have Satan’s horns growing out of their foreheads. I will cite a pair of examples in my own life experience. Maybe this will lift your spirits and give you hope. These people have done this for me.

There is a man who holds an important leadership position at a business I visit several times a week. He exudes a warm friendliness that brings smiles to those come in frequent contact with him, his fellow employees as well as members of the public. Even when busy, he will cheerfully interrupt an important task to perform a favor, without hesitation, and he will stay with it until he’s sure he has completed the new task asked of him. He and I cheer for the same sports teams, a fact that around here tends to bind diverse folks together in a sort of family. It’s all good. I think highly of this man, and it’s certain that he likes me as well.

We are friends.

Yet our political views couldn’t be more different. If one wants to add a label to this, call me liberal or progressive. No doubt about this. My friend is a loyal Trump supporter. In his office, a red “Make America Great Again” cap rests in a prominent location. We don’t discuss politics. We have many other things we share in common, and that is what binds us together.

In a neighboring city, another acquaintance routinely taps out on social media messages that illustrate his strongly held political views, which are the opposite of mine. But we have sung together, he and I, close harmony. Few things bind folks better than that. It’s hard to beat singing together, an experience that transforms one into a collaborator, a respected, nay, cherished colleague who works together with you to make beautiful music. Everyone who does this is elevated. This man’s political views that he spouts on social media offend me, but I can’t bring myself to transfer those feelings to his person. He’s a good guy. I respect him.

We are friends.

Imagine what our world would be like if we all see the good in those with whom we disagree.

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