In the Shadow of A Country Divided (To Heal Our Nation)

At every moment, we have a choice.
And even when we choose not to choose, 
we have still made a choice.
When we take sides, because of pride or indoctrination,
when we become inflexible in our familiar direction
and certain that our vision is the only vision that’s correct,
we have made a choice to turn away from the needs of others.
 
Our ears are on both sides of our heads for a reason,
to be able to hear both sides of any argument, any story.
Our eyes are paired so that we may see 
the breadth of variety which surrounds us.
 
But we have only one mouth and that is for a reason as well,
with one mouth, we must choose carefully what we will say,
we must remember that what we say has consequence,
that our words declare our intentions,
and that our words can either heal or harm.
 
Today, we are faced with yet another choice;
will we listen to other people and actually hear what they say,
or will we adopt a posture of us versus them?
Us versus them is what got us where we are,
You and me can get us to where we want to be,
one people, one nation, one family…
 
HaShem, we pray to you to hear our words,
to know our pain, 
to help us heal.
 
We have strayed from your pathway,
and we are close to lost.
Not just some of us, 
not just those who are different,
but each of us, 
every single one.
 
We ask you to shine your light,
to open our eyes and ears,
and to teach us to know
when to open our mouths and speak,
and when to keep our opinions to ourselves.
 
Teach us how to regain compassion,
to treat those with whom we disagree
with the same respect 
we ask them to confer upon us.
And to have enough respect for ourselves
to know when we must be willing to change our minds.
 
Amen

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