Can Opposites Attract?

Music is a big part of my life.

I love the sound made by musical instruments, but it’s the silence between notes that defines a song. A jazz trio with perfectly timed silence is a wondrous thing to experience. 

I am very fond of photography, as well. 

One needs light to make a picture. But a truly remarkable photo requires the interplay of darkness with light. 

Life is a marriage of opposites. Sure we have preferences, but it’s the contrast that “delivers the goods.” Looking out at the lake, I remember how nice warm days on the pontoon boat were. But frosted pines and silent water are lovely as well. 

Nature reminds us to embrace diversity. That’s easy when it suits us and seemingly impossible when it doesn’t. 

I have a high tolerance for diverse opinions and beliefs. But, as I witnessed the events of this past week unfold, I felt anger well up inside me. Laying in bed on Wednesday night, I couldn’t sleep. The breach of the U.S. Capitol was only part of the reason.

I was disgusted by the mob’s behavior, saddened that political differences could come to this, but ashamed of my own intolerance. “Hate the sin, love the sinner” sounds good, but it’s hard to do. 

Our nation was born out of diverging opinions. Hamilton vs. Jefferson, Federal control vs. States rights, Democrats vs. Republicans, differences are part of the dance. Even when the dance is ugly. 

I cannot condone the actions I witnessed on TV, but neither can I condone the feelings they triggered in me. 

I recently read an article about the group, Women Wage Peace, formed by Israeli and Palestinian women personally affected by the decades-long violence between Arabs and Jews. “We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs, from the cities and the periphery and we have decided that we will stop the next war,” said one of the founders, Marilyn Smadja.

I don’t know much about this group, but I was inspired that opposing sides could find common ground. 

If we are to move forward as a nation, we must peel back our differences, our hatred of one another, and find common ground. That won’t be easy! 

Our nation, and the world, face enormous problems that can only be solved through collaboration. If we want to build a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren, we will have to work together. 

Am I optimistic this can happen?

I prefer the word hopeful! 

Going forward, I will try a lot harder to live with a spirit of reconciliation versus divisiveness. I may never understand the other side, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together. 

 It won’t be easy, but what better alternative do we have?


A Question To Consider: Would you be willing to initiate a conversation with “the other side” to search for common values?

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5 Replies to “Can Opposites Attract?”

  1. Thanks Tim. So true. To successfully move forward, disagreement must be disconnected from disrespect. (Skate X-cross country is my peaceful escape!)


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