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franklin county times

Keeping sight of what matters most

Masking vs. anti-masking.

Vaccines vs. anti-vaxxers.

Trump vs. Biden – and Republicans vs. Democrats more generally.

Frankly, I’m exhausted of all the “vs.” we encounter in everyday life.

These divider lines, all the “us vs. them” mentalities that govern our lives, make me wonder: Have we lost sight of what matters most?

I’m not about to drop a massive, earth-shattering truth bomb on you. I don’t have some astonishing wisdom or life philosophy to share.

When I say “what matters most,” I’m just talking about one simple thing: the fact that we’re all people just trying to do our best in this world. I’m asking, have we lost sight of the value in our fellow man?

OK, OK, let me stop you right there because I hear the counterpoint. Yes, some people aren’t actually trying to do their best. Some people are cruel. Some people are purposefully malicious. Some people go through each day defined by lies, ulterior motives, negativity, evil thoughts and every kind of detestable thing.

But I’m talking about most people. Most people, even those who strongly disagree with you on a conviction you hold strongly, are sincere, genuine people who are – like you, like me – just trying their best.

I believe that. I have to believe that.

As a Christian, I know and believe that all people are made in God’s image.

God created life on this planet – and since then, humanity has messed that up to some extent, but we’re still God’s creation.

I usually leave my faith out of my journalism, even on the opinion page, but I have to bring it up in this context.

Because humanity was created by God, we are all his people. Some people might reject that, and some people, through their own choices, won’t be with God in the end. But right here, right now, we are all beings created by God.

All the people, with all the causes – anti-vaxxers, social justice reformers, political campaigners, abortion opposers, Black Lives Matter protestors, gun rights activists, and so many more – we’re all humans. When it seems like we have nothing else in common, we have that thread.

Like I said, I don’t have some surprising wisdom to share. I don’t have never-before-heard eloquence to spur us all to rekindle lost love for our neighbor. Men and women throughout history have put their energy behind that cause, and men and women throughout the future will likely do the same.

There’s something in us that craves division, craves putting people into a box and separating them.

I’m not sure what it is, but if all the great unifiers of history couldn’t overcome it, I’m not foolish enough to think a little column from me will make the difference they couldn’t.

I just want to add my voice to theirs in begging us to strive for greater unity, greater compassion among us.

Let’s not lose sight of what matters most: each other.

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