My sincere wish for today’s blog is that you read it, that somehow it touches you, and that you pass it on to others. Your actions make a difference.
Our beautiful country and our glorious planet are facing tremendous challenges. Every day our news is filled with reports about the struggling economy, wars, natural disasters (such as the recent events in Haiti), climate change, population growth, dwindling access to fresh water, people with lack of access to affordable healthcare, and on and on. Some days it seems that these issues are overwhelming and that time is running out on humanity to solve them.
Yet, I am an optimist. I know that collectively we have the strength, intelligence and wisdom to solve whatever barriers we face. But the key is we must face them together. As Benjamin Franklin said, “we must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately.” Somewhere within each of us, we truly realize that people are better at solving common problems when they work together.
However, as we look out on the landscape of American politics it appears that many politicians and much of our media fans the flames of our differences which only serves to keep us divided. Whether intentional or not, their left-right win-lose approach to solving our problems only pushes us further away from any real resolution. We must move to focusing on our commonality and seeking win-win solutions that unite us as a people.
There is a lot of talk in Washington, DC these days about seeking bipartisan solutions. Even last week, President Obama met with Republican congressional leaders during their retreat in an attempt to foster a bipartisan dialogue. Although I was encouraged by this event, the news coverage and discussion by political pundits still tended to focus upon who won and who lost in their discussion, casting a cynical eye on whether we can truly move into bipartisan politics.
I say it’s time to move beyond bipartisan and into a new era of transpartisan politics. What does transpartisan mean? According to Wikipedia, this is an emerging field of political thought, which aims to negotiate between right and left towards a dualistic solution or perspective, one which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether. This concept has been around for many years.
Now I know as you read this that there is a part of you that doesn’t want to let go of your personal political labels. That’s fine. Seeking to promote a transpartisan approach to the challenges facing our country and our world, doesn’t mean letting go of any of your personal political beliefs. You can be on the right, you can be on the left, you can be in the middle. You can be a Democrat, you can be a Republican, you can be an independent. You can be a member of the Green Party or be a Libertarian. You can be a Tea Party member or belong to MoveOn.org. In fact, the vast diversity of political opinions is a good thing, as it offers a wide variety of perspectives as we approach solutions to our issues. The more ideas we bring to the table, the better ideas we have. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about solving our collective problems.
So I am asking you today to join in the promotion of a new transpartisan era in American politics forged in the glorious history of our diversity of political opinions, but anchored in the awareness of our common humanity. As our constitution reminds us in its very first words, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union…” Let’s all of us keep our focus on attention on living from a state of that “perfect union”.
You have the power to make a difference and to heal our political divide. What can you do? Here are some actions for your consideration:
- Stop right now and Google the word “transpartisan”. Read about the groups and organizations that are promoting this new vision of American politics. Get ideas about how you can bring this concept into your daily actions.
- Begin noticing when politicians or the media are promoting conflict and win-lose political options. Let them know that you do not appreciate how they continue to foster division. Turn away from media that contributes to dividing us as a people.
- Support political leaders who promote transpartisan solutions. Let them know you appreciate their seeking win-win alternatives.
- Look for opportunities to insert transpartisan solutions into political dialogue. Talk with others. Write letters to the editor.
- Seek a diversity of opinions and value all of them. Surrounding yourself with viewpoints that only agree with the opinion you already hold limits your ability to find the best option.
- Join and support groups are seeking transpartisan political solutions. Friend them and support them on social marketing sites such as Facebook.
- Be firm in your political beliefs but honor other people’s beliefs. Seek solutions that unites us rather than divides us.
You can probably come up with your own ways and add to this list.
Finally, I hope that you agree with me that it’s time for us to move beyond politics as usual. It’s time to move beyond putting our differences before commonalities. It’s time to work together to tap the power of synergy to solve the challenges we face.
If you agree, please forward this note on to your friends and family and add your own comments in support of working in unity.
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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!