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The Editor’s Desk: Matters of the heart

My father and I largely differ when it comes to politics. I consider myself left of center—he's staunchly conservative and relatively miffed at some of my political perspectives. But, there's nothing but love between us and we enjoy our discussions. My parents taught me to think for myself—to do my research, learn and, above all, listen. Whether they're kicking themselves in the butt for pushing me to be a free thinker, I'll never know. Despite our differences, there's one topic we largely agree on.

Last night, I made my routine visit to my folks' place. We ate supper, talked and, as happens often, our discussion turned political and, maybe, became one of my favorite discussions we've had.

In our great nation today there is a lot of strife, discord and political warfare. In fact, perhaps it's safe to assume that neither "side" is content with our present circumstances. Sometimes, when you observe the vast, tangled web of adversity in which our nation is enmeshed, it's easy to feel small and largely incapable of doing anything to change our outcome. From within our rural, caution light towns, we often find ourselves experiencing the negative emotions that come with feeling helpless.

But my conservative daddy and his "misguided" left-wing daughter came to a conclusion and I'd like to share it with you. Our nation has a big, fat heart problem. There's no denying it. People have become bitter, calloused and miserable. Perhaps this is due to past hurts. Perhaps this is due to injustices they have faced. Perhaps it's due to anger. Perhaps it's due to the feeling of freedom being stripped from their clutches. Whether red or blue, we're all aching, we're all tired and we're all ready to throw in the towel.

So what can we do? Well, I could give you a long list of ways you can become politically active, contact your representatives and do the regular mumbo jumbo your party requests you do (by all means, begin doing that). Or I could tell you what us Reams folks decided to do while sitting in our living room last night.

We decided to continue to help our neighbors. We decided to donate supplies to students going back to school. We decided to give our friend without a vehicle a ride to the grocery store. We decided to take up time at the nursing home or volunteer to assist a local teacher. We decided to love unconditionally, forgive absolutely and give second chances. You see, the moment our hearts begin to thaw, change begins to occur. It spreads like wildfire and, I'm going to be honest with you, I don't see why the positive, personal decisions we make in each of our lives can't impact our nation like the crash of a meteor.

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