In this fractured society, remember to be kind

“We like different things and that’s just fine, but remember to be kind.”

“We like different things and that’s just fine, but remember to be kind.”

That refrain played several times during a recent episode of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” a weekday morning kids’ show on PBS. Daniel Tiger brought an egg salad sandwich to school and a friend essentially said “yuck.” That hurt Daniel’s feelings, and teacher reminded the children to be kind to each other even if they don’t like the same things.

We couldn’t help but think that maybe adults should start watching Daniel Tiger. We all need a lesson to remember to be kind because, let’s face it, half of us really like something and the other half really doesn’t.

That something is Donald Trump and his presidency. He tends to arouse strong sentiments, and his supporters and detractors don’t always choose the kindest words in debating his merits.

We represent a variety of political opinions here at the newspaper and sometimes we engage in pointed discussions about our thoughts on this president. But we are careful not to cross a civility line. We spend so much time together we are like a family and just as relatives sometimes agree to avoid politics and religion at Thanksgiving dinner, we do the same and know when it’s time to stop talking.

We need to think of our communities, our county and our country as one big family. We have serious issues facing us on a local, national and world level. Nothing will unite a family more quickly than an outside threat and we have many of those — from foreign entities influencing our elections or threatening war, to a changing climate that will topple our world as we know it to a seesawing economy that could impact our financial futures. Will we unite to meet these challenges? Or will we continue to spar and posture and call each other names?

Now is a good time to listen and learn. It’s no longer politics as usual. There is too much at stake. As we head into another election cycle, let’s look past political party and at the individuals and what they are saying. Which one seems best suited to address the serious issues facing us? Which one could be the unifier that we need in the face of those issues? Let’s tamp down the rhetoric and ramp up our willingness to be open. Let’s remember to be kind.

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