Mediating America

December 7, 2016

Ok, so this has not been the most sanguine of U.S. elections. In fact, if there's one thing perhaps everyone can agree on, it is that it has been one of the most rancorous in years.

 

So bad was it that CNN's Wolf Blitzer offered (humorously) to moderate family disputes at the Thanksgiving table:

 

 

For a sense of just how raw feelings are at present, at least in some quarters of the country, one has only to peruse the sea of notes left on the wall of New York City's 14th Street subway station since the election.

 

Some of the more hopeful ones include:

 

Hoping 4 the best

Find a way to work together

Love wins

Our family tie is love

Be a nice human

Stand up for justice

 

These are just some of the thoughts from adults to their fellow adults. Yet perhaps the most instructive lessons might be the ones that adults offer to children. Maybe there is something here that adults too might learn. Consider this list of speaking guidelines recently spotted on the wall of a middle school classroom:

Its message could well be summed up as: Think before speaking -- three words perhaps worth remembering the next time we're sitting at the Thanksgiving table or anywhere else in the coming weeks and months ahead.

 

What do you think?

 

 

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Joshua de Sola Mendes