The next step is important

Thursday, October 29, 2020

A majority of area voters will possibly have cast their ballots prior to the Nov. 3 election. Then we wait for the final verified results. And then….we enter the next equally critical chapter of this tumultuous point in our national history. The manner in which we approach this period will be of perhaps more lasting significance than the voting process itself.

How will we choose to interact and respond to our neighbors, family and friends who may have voted differently than ourselves? How will we engage in conversations that have the power to ease our uncertainties of the future? What can each of us promise to do to begin the healing of such a divisive political environment?

We can continue to be caring citizens, neighbors and family units.

We can accept that there will be lasting differences of opinions. We can create safe spaces to engage in conversations where, despite our diverging beliefs, we truly listen to the fears, hopes and anger of others, in an attitude of respect for each individual’s need and right to express themselves non-violently.

I implore each of us to be open to the dialogues which can begin the healing, and can promote the peaceful communities we desire. Ponder what each of us can, and must, be willing to do to remove the obstacles which have built up during this election cycle. Listen with our hearts, act with kindness, and commit to working in unison for the good of our communities and country.

Regardless of the election results, the future is ultimately in our own hands. Let us model our words and activities as a positive example especially for the children we treasure.

That commitment to peaceful discourse and action will have a far more lasting effect on our collective future. Let us begin the healing!

Susan Leaverton

Absarokee