I don’t write on political topics – I’m not going to write here about why you should vote for the Presidential candidate for whom I’m voting.
I am going to ask you to behave considerately towards people with different political views than your own. (This considerate behavior was not on display in the first Presidential debate this evening that I just watched.)
Remember the hive mind of the Borg from the Star Trek franchise? We Americans do not have a Borg society, so of course we all have different opinions on so many things, including who should be elected the next President.
And because we are individuals, we have our different reasons for why we think Candidate A or Candidate B should be elected. And those individual reasons need to be respected.
If in the next few weeks before the Election you do discuss candidates, please keep to a civilized tone and do not engage in name calling. Do not call your best friend an “idiot” because he or she is voting differently than you. Do not say, “How can you vote for that candidate?” Assume each person has thought about his or her vote as thoroughly as you have.
The U.S. has enough problems now without letting our choice of Presidential candidate tear families and friends apart with divisions that may never be mended.
We can, of course, choose to express our preference and the reasons for our preference. Yet this should be done in a non-antagonizing way. We use our words to connect with people – we shouldn’t use name-calling and aspersions to create hatred.
Whoever wins the election, the country is going to need all the goodwill people can muster to get us through this divisive time in the midst of COVID, economic downturns, violent protests, forest fires, hurricanes, and whatever else Mother Nature and/or foreign powers may have in store for us.
I have recently noted the establishment of new organizations committed to encouraging dialogue among disparate viewpoints. While these organizations can serve a helpful purpose, I think a more productive use of time, effort and resources is to actually do something rather than talk about it.
As Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
I have read about someone who said that, every time her mentor and she spoke, her mentor would ask her what she had done for her country that day. During Yom Kippur remote synagogue services this year (the evening of September 27 and the day of September 28), I thought about that exhortation to daily do something for one’s country.
In answer to myself, I decided that reaching out each day to someone new about my free nonfiction theater Holocaust project www.ThinEdgeOfTheWedge.com – developed to combat anti-Semitism and hate – is what I’m doing to help counteract the current religious and racial hatred in the U.S.
Although reaching out to a single person isn’t major, if someone to whom I reach out uses the free resources for himself/herself and perhaps others, then that reaching out could swell to educating more people. After all, one small step could lead to bigger and bigger steps.
In conclusion, two simple requests:
First, is there some small act that you could do each day to help people move forward through these difficult times?
Second, would you share my free nonfiction Holocaust education resources with people who could use these, especially middle schools and high schools doing remote learning? (See www.ThinEdgeOfTheWedgeProject.com)
And finally, stay safe for yourself and others. WEAR A MASK, practice social distancing, and wash your hands!
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is an author and screenwriter in Los Angeles. She can be reached through her website at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com
Phyllis Zimbler Miller
Screenwriter * Author