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No one should be excluded
February 14, 2020
Rev. Ben Konecny
It’s been a while since my elementary school days when the preparation for Valentine’s Day was filled with difficult decisions like which box of Valentines to buy and determining who in my class would get which card. While I remember facing these challenging decisions every time Valentine’s Day came around, there was one decision I knew was not mine to make. Each year my teacher made it clear that you couldn’t leave anyone out. Everyone in class, even the one you never sat with at lunch or played with at recess, needed to get a Valentine from you. Though there were times when I wished this injunction would be lifted, including everyone always ended up feeling like the right thing to do.
Not long ago I became engaged in a political argument with a family member. We were “not on the same page.” It was more like we were in different libraries! It quickly grew acrimonious. It was clear there would be no satisfactory shared understanding and we moved on to other topics before any blood was spilled. Yet I was bothered by my own anger and the dearth of common ground that made our positions seem so irreconcilable! How can we listen to each other in the midst of such polarized, partisan and often toxic political discourse?