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We've had a decent interval.

It's satisfying to be angry. Both sides have a right to feel righteous. One side thinks the government should be able to kill as many innocent Iraqis as it wants. The other side thinks mothers should be able to kill their fetuses if they want. But isn't it a hard world where any of these decisions have to be made?

This is really hard on us, isn't it? I understand how it's to the politicians' advantage to divide us as bitterly as possible by getting us to argue over issues that have nothing to do with their real agendas. O.K. It worked.

But now all of us, the little people, we're stuck down here in our towns, countrysides and cities, with each other. It's time to remember that our allegiance to one another is greater than that to some politicians who won't bother with us again for four years. It's time to remember the hard thing.

Whether out of Christian charity, out of compassion learned from other spiritual disciplines, or out of good old fashioned decency (remember that?), in which we used to decide that even if the other person's convictions or lifestyle weren't our cup of tea, the main thing was that here we are together, it's time to open our hearts and love each other.

After all, our stances all come from being good. Both sides don't like the killing of innocents, both sides don't like to live in fear, both sides want a nation that doesn't act against their beliefs. You know the old cliche--both sides love their children.

And loving those whose beliefs offend you, loving those you perceive to be persecuting you, is the best way to foil your enemies, whether you believe that those you need to fear most are terrorists or the people at the head of your own government. The thing evil cannot conquer or comprehend is unreasoning love.

I'm not talking about love as one-upsmanship, see how I love you; therefore I'm better than you. I'm talking about "I disagree with you, but I like you, in a casual friendly way, and I respect the fact that you have convictions." Love the person, not the stance, and don't try to change him or her.

I know, it's the hard thing. But it's the way to less hatred, less killing, more peace.

When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis. ---H. D. Thoreau

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The following comments are for "The Hard Thing (political)"
by Icarus

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