What a ride! However we may have voted, this US presidential election has been a long and harshly polarized trip to the polls. Perhaps never before have so many voters looked at their counterparts in the other camp and asked, “What on earth are they thinking?”
So now, after all this, how do we come together? It may feel as if it’s too soon to even think about this, but we will confront the question of how we will unite after so much bitter divisiveness.
And we might ask, Does that even matter? After all, we are more and more segregated into media markets, social circles, and even Facebook networks of people who share similar opinions. Why reach outside that comfort zone?
Here’s one answer: Because there’s good that we can do together.
Every relationship we have is an opportunity for love and healing. Christ Jesus’ demand that we love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 22:39) doesn’t ask us to agree with their politics. But it doesn’t give Christians a pass either to just love those neighbors who vote like ourselves. When we stay focused on political differences, and just can’t let go, it blinds us to what we share. And that, inevitably, is a lot.
We all, in our own ways, reflect the one infinite God. One God means one divine Truth, one divine Mind, and one source of all good (see Genesis 1:31). That is the most fundamental source of our unity with each other across every kind of divide and difference. We all share equal access to the same divine Truth, the source of all real truth. We are all equally embraced by the same divine Love, the source of all genuine love. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, “With one Father, even God, the whole family of man would be brethren...” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” pp. 469-470).
So we need to see that in each other. It’s always there.
And we need to find it in ourselves – letting go of the personal pride that tells us we’re right, that we’re justified, and that we need to defend that position against the ignorance of others. That’s a trap, and we release it when we realize that seeing that one Mind reflected in others and seeing it in ourselves are not two different steps. It’s the same glimpse of the same Truth that applies to ourselves and our neighbors.
When we see that, we’re doing our bit to realize the brotherhood of man, whether those around us voted red, blue, or otherwise. This applies everywhere in the world. It’s how we free ourselves to unite and do some good together.
This article was adapted from the Nov. 9, 2016, Christian Science Daily Lift podcast.