Inter-Party Conversations

I’ve never been a big fan of politics – at least not the kind that causes divisiveness.

If anything, I remain hopeful that politics can be a way of uniting and finding common ground – rather than fighting to advance causes that are not universally appealing.

Since the 2016 American Presidential election, I’ve been seeing a lot of efforts to advance various political views, bring new life to partisan issues, etc… More people than ever – it seems – want to be a politician. At least in their second-life.

But how important are “issues”? Aren’t they just a way of identifying the differences among us?

Should the public care about issues at the expense of values, goals, and common bonds?

And if we *should* care about issues, does it really all the time have to be the ones that never seem to have any hope of progress, and always seem optimized for creating division?

I’m looking for the common bonds – I continue to believe that we all have more in common than we do different. I’ve been seeking out guidance and strategy for a way forward which focuses on bringing folks together around common goals.

And there doesn’t seem to be much out there in the way of guidance!

😦

My wife passed along an opinion piece recently:

Wanted: Leaders to Turn Interfaith Conflict Into Trust
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/opinion/wanted-leaders-to-turn-interfaith-conflict-into-trust.html

When we talked about it, I realized that the folks who have been working in inter-faith communities actually have a boat-load of experience with today’s political problems.

I mean, what better way to figure out how to get folks who disagree to work together than to do it by learning from successful work-together projects originating in communities which fundamentally disagree about the basic foundations of spirituality and existence?

So how can we apply the lessons learned from inter-faith work to the problem of inter-party work?

For starters, we can focus on the common bonds – which is where my gut feeling took me from the start.

In the article linked above, we have a story of a community which found common ground by caring individually for children who needed their help – putting aside the hot-button and divisive issues surrounding women’s rights.

Further on, we can commit – broadly and deeply – to finding ways to work together on our common values, goals, and projects.

With a deep commitment to putting aside differences in favor of embracing our natural unity.

When we do that, no party will win. But all parties will win.

Even a guy like me who’s not a member of any party! 🙂