With election season upon us, the deep political and ideological divisions in our country are especially palpable. Passions run strong on all sides. Is it possible to debate and disagree in today’s climate without “going tribal” and putting one’s tribe ahead of our nation as a whole? As we’re bombarded by inflammatory rhetoric in the weeks and months ahead, let us remember the words contained in the Seal of the United States – E pluribus unum, or “Out of many, one.” Lively political discourse is essential for a healthy nation, of course. Yet even as we debate, we are still one. It’s easy to forget this crucial fact. The more mindful we are of our national unity, the more peaceful we will be toward each other, despite our ideological differences. And who knows? If we can see beyond our political divisions, what’s to prevent us from defining our loyalties even more broadly? As Martin Luther King said so famously: “If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” Here’s wishing us all some perspective this electoral year.
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