Government & Law, Organized religion and community

“Forbearance” – A Critical Need for a Healthy Democracy, But Apparently Absent

December 31, 2018

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Forbearance’ as:

“the quality of being patient and being able to forgive someone or control yourself in a difficult situation

Let’s look at this in the context of today’s politics.  It seems like more and more our political representatives take the attitude -“You either agree with me our you are my adversary/opponent and I will fight you with all means possible”.  It is a “win at any cost” culture.  We see many examples – Blaming unfavorable information on ;fake news’; congressional voting based on political gain vs. the good of the Nation;  a political ‘enemies list’ compiled and actively worked by the political party in power; misuse on congressional rules to block legislation and appointments clearly supported by the majority of the electorate; the discard of norms of conduct for government leaders that have been in place for decades.  And the list goes on.

What has happened to forbearance?  Yes, we face difficult decisions as a Nation.  Debt is growing unchecked, wealth disparity is huge, healthcare is becoming unaffordable, voting rights are under attack, race and discrimination is on the rise.  Certainly we all don’t agree on what the solutions are.  But our ability to listen and discuss seems to have vanished.  There are probably multiple reasons.  However, one thing for sure – unless we find forbearance and spread it around – our democracy will suffer gravely.

We are social beings.  Community and communication are essential for our health.  So if you agree that we have ‘a lack of forbearance’ problem , let’s communicate.  Forget the texting.  Let’s talk face-to-face – about anything!  Talk within our extended family, to our neighbors, participate in local community gatherings.  And when our local representative holds a town hall meeting let’s go and express ourselves – and listen to what others have to say.

Maybe, just maybe, it will be a start???

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