Begin from the same page

“It is kindness, love, and compassion for each other that will bring us together, and keep us together.” - Melania Trump

When we discuss issues that impact us all, it is to be expected that we will disagree. Different policies, programs and funding methods will unfailingly create disparate benefits and costs for people in different situations.

By continuing to focus on the means in how we conduct public discourse, we lose sight of our goals; as if by design. When we start from a place of commonality -- the ends -- it makes it possible for us to work together to find acceptable means.

We all want to be safe, healthy and successful. We want the next generation to be well educated, to learn from the mistakes of our past, and to thrive. We don’t want to see others suffer in hunger, sorrow or pain.

Avoid the instinct to assume the worst of people. That instinct seldom serves the community, or the individual. Embrace the knowledge that being kind to others actually makes one’s self happier.

Resist the urge to attack, even in defense. “Turn the other cheek,” knowing that attacks are fueled by pain. Retaliation and defensiveness perpetuate the cycle of conflict and prevent us from moving forward. Forgiveness, and acts of loving kindness calm the turbulence.

When we keep this in mind as we pursue solutions to the challenges of our town, state, nation and planet, we are able to reach further into the realm of success; beyond the obstacles and the division and the conflict.

“All the world’s a stage;” and we perform the best story when starting on the same page.