I listened to a podcast this week where the storyteller – Tara Clancy – talked about being introduced to big thoughts, complex ideas, and philosophical discussion, in a home where there was no television, and after dinner entertainment meant deep conversation, the free exchange of ideas, and constructive repartee.
“The free exchange of ideas!” Now there’s a concept for today’s social climate of political stalemate, social discord, and religious judgmentalism.
Real conversation is what we need:
Deep conversation is exactly what we do every Saturday morning in the men’s Bible-study. We share scripture; we bring our own background reading, insights, experiences, and personal histories; we pray together; we ask God to be part of the discussion; we share authentically from our hearts, our faith, our doubts, our ongoing relationships with God. We bounce it all off one another, and we get excited sometimes, and we disagree over stuff, and we are persuaded, and we come together, and we are patient, and we pray, and we continue to walk together as followers of the Way of Jesus…
Interestingly, Rebekah and I just finished a thought-provoking series on the beginnings of the United States of America, looking at the achievements of characters such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al.
And we understood again that without compromise, without give and take, without a desire to serve the people, without humility, and without the core understanding that no one idea – no matter how noble – should ever be allowed to subjugate other ideas, we would have no freedom worth dying for, no USA, no Constitution, and certainly no Bill of Rights.
So I sit here at my keyboard, wondering what seeds of conversation I should be casting out over the infinite possibilities of the Internet, and I realize that – even with only three weeks to go before the elections – I want to say this to the primary candidates:
“Hey, Donald Trump! Listen up, Hillary Clinton! You could do so much for the strengthening of this nation, for the next four years, and for the face of democracy – if only you would humble yourselves for just a few moments, both of you. Look into the camera, talk directly to those of us who are so disappointed with this campaign, and say something like, ‘I know I don’t have all the answers, and I’m sure my opponent also has some good ideas that could help serve the people. I’d like to listen to him/her, I’d like to talk together about solutions, and I’d like to pledge my cooperation, no matter who wins November 8. So let’s have an intelligent conversation about some of these issues, in lieu of another mud-slinging debate.’
“What do you say, Donald? Are you on board, Hillary?”
Meanwhile, here are some calming photographs from around Maul-Hall today. Enjoy!