The Door. Listen…
It’s been a fortnight of loud news, on both the local
and national levels. The presidential candidates continue to
bash at each other, the Onteora School Board race has started
up with a flurry of announcements and support letters, Jimmy
Carter went to the Middle East to try and get everyone at the
table to talk about possible peace, and the Pope visited our
country, quietly admonishing the president for his war-like
ways, and all of us for forgetting those less fortunate than
ourselves. Passover occurred.
And yet when one steps back from it all, not much happened of
major consequence. Trees started to bud and leaf out. Everyone
got outside for a warm Earth Day. Doors and windows opened.
Birdsong filled the air, at least whenever we had the sense
to turn away from the news chatter.
The next month, here, will be consumed by school politics. Just
as the national news will continue to be dominated by presidential
politics. It’s going to get shrill… and yet, living
here, listening to the world outside, we know it doesn’t
need to be.
Maybe, as the best stories of the past two weeks have shown,
we would do better in the coming weeks to listen, rather than
shout; to try and learn, rather than convince. In the end, all
this election stuff is not sport, but a means of discourse.
It is never good to simply shut off those we don’t agree
with; to limit our worlds to those just like us. We are meant
to be bigger than that, even if there is something in us that
is easily led to such smallness.
Which means we all have to be willing to hear each other. Which
means shutting our own traps, for the betterment of our communities…