“Take care of your heart.”
Today, that’s how a colleague and friend closed our phone call. We’d had a candid conversation about the state of our country, and sadly, the state of our division. We discussed how it’s hard to say anything to anyone right now, when even words of comfort can be perceived as insensitive.
We also discussed an upcoming event to memorialize those who’ve died from COVID-19, and how it is important to ensure it is nonpartisan and welcomed by all families of those who’ve perished.
What made this phone call particularly interesting is that my friend and I do not agree on a lot of positions or policies. We vote under different banners, champion different causes and lobby for different approaches to problems facing us each day. As women, we advocate for issues that affect women, their families, their earnings and their futures. We always want improvement, but sometimes our measures of success vary greatly.
However, we are thankfully able to talk openly, respectfully, and learn from each other, without our conversation devolving into blame, accusation and hate.
Sometimes, speaking with someone whose beliefs differ from mine strengthens my resolve and also moderates my approach. It’s not easy and sometimes takes a lot of energy and practiced self-control, but as author Glennon Doyle says, “We can do hard things.”
As our state inches closer to our post-pandemic reality, we should all strive to get back to a point where civil discourse is practiced. That doesn’t mean we compromise our beliefs, but rather show empathy and compassion for others who view life through a different lens. We should work to meet openly and authentically with others who differ from us.
It’s my wish for 2021 that you take care of your ears to better listen, take care of your eyes so to look for better solutions, and so you can live another day to love and serve, take care of your heart.
Sue Finkam is president of the Carmel City Council.