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Time to come together for America

Time to come together for America
Time to come together for America
Judy O'Bannon

I was heartened this past Sunday when former President George W. Bush issued this statement: “I just talked to the president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden. I extended my warm congratulations and thanked him for the patriotic message he delivered last night.”

“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said. “The president-elect reiterated that, while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans.”

Bush went on to say, “I offered him the same thing I offered presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success and my pledge to help in any way I can.”

Bush added, “The challenges that face our country will demand the best of all of us. … We must come together for the sake of our families and neighbors, and for our nation and its future.”

A community, a nation and, indeed, the whole planet is like a family. We just don’t all see things the same way.

I come from a pretty close well-functioning family, but sometimes we have differing opinions. We have different life experiences and they are colored by our own age, gender, innate skills and body’s physical condition. No wonder we often have developed various world views and opinions within our own households.

You may have found as we have that we get along better when we discuss our feelings and ideas with each other rather than going to our rooms and remaining silent.

Our recent national political campaign has been a long, hard discussion as to what direction we want to go as a nation. After all candidates voiced their agendas, we voted as to whom we citizens thought should become our leaders. Oh, how we voted, in record numbers. We took it seriously that, in a representative democracy, we all need to participate.

By their very nature, campaigns are competitive. But, as in the game of basketball, when the game is over, winners and losers shake hands and go on with their lives.

The campaign we have just experienced got a bit too mean spirited at times. Our competitor is not the enemy. The enemy is a virus that is ravaging our health, businesses that are shuttered, discord and inequality along racial lines, a shattered national infrastructure, a damaged environment, a flawed tax code and the loss of jobs. These conditions are so damaging to our society that it will take all of us working together in good faith to make improvements for our lives.

We must join each other in our search for common ground. It is no time to demand our way or do nothing. Compromise is the way changes happen. We must value each other enough that we listen to each other, be honest with each other and seek a workable, if not perfect, solution to our ills. And, when we work together, there is no limit to where we can go.

Today is Veterans Day. We acknowledge and honor those who risked their lives to protect our country from its enemies. Our military is made up of brave and dedicated citizens from all backgrounds and ways of life. They realize we have problems that need attention, and they unite with their varied skills behind a common cause and goal.

Can we not honor them this day with our commitment to come together to mend the divides in our country and heal the soul of our nation? To do any less is to mess up what they have worked and dedicated their very lives to securing.

Let’s give each other a chance to show what we can do before we sit on our hands or take harmful action against each other. Let us pull out the best within each of us and cast away the darker impulses that have always haunted mankind.

Let’s do it for America, the home of the free and the land of the brave.

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