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June 03, 2010

Polarization of a Nation

480249660_EJsjJ-M The accompanying photo perfectly predicts the future of our nation if we do not figure out how to talk with people different from ourselves. We have polarized our nation politically, religiously, culturally and economically. This polarization has created a dangerous atmosphere and the result could be as disastrous as the encounter between this car and the vacant shack.

How do we move beyond this unfortunate circumstance? First, we listen. Listen to people who think differently than you do. Second, we give those people space. Space to think and believe differently without be judged. Third, we do our best to reach compromise. The very foundations of democracy rest on compromise.

I am convinced that WOMEN are key to the resolution of this polarization. I am a wild-ass liberal and very proudly so. Two of my "bestest" girlfriends on the planet are conservative evangelical Christians. I disagree with them on many topics but I know that I know that I know---they both love me and I love each of them. There is nothing we would do for each other and have proven that statement on numerous occasions. Love permits us to listen, give space and in some circumstances we have had to make compromises. I think women intuitively do this process more naturally than men. But we can teach this to a nation. And we better start now with whomever is next door.

Photo by John Lynner Peterson at Global Village Studio at

This is an original 50-Something Moms Blog post. When Brenda is not pontificating on the state of the nation, she blogs at www.brendabartellapeterson.com and contemplates the future for her grandson, Tristan and new grandaughter, Payden.