June 22, 2021

POSITIVELY SPEAKING: Reach across the aisle in the spirit of Lincoln

I don’t think I’ll find many who will disagree that our nation is in turmoil. From an election that a large minority of our friends and neighbors feel was stolen, to an assault on our nation’s Capitol, the concern about what will come next is eerie.

There has never been a more important moment than now for both sides, red and blue, liberal and conservative, to consider the attitude and wisdom of Abraham Lincoln ...

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds ...”

We are on a dangerous path, only a few steps away from a point of no return. Let’s not take those last few steps.

Can it begin now, with us?

We need a peaceful transfer of power without any hitches and we need a new administration that enters office in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds...”

Yes, our nation is wounded. Anything less than this attitude carries the potential of lighting a powder keg. It’s a matter of choice at this moment. President-Elect Joe Biden can calm his supporters and move forward with malice towards none and with charity for all. Extremists on the side of the left are using words like, “purge” and “punishment” when talking about those on the right who supported President Trump. Make no mistake about it, President Trump has acted like a petulant child in the weeks leading up to the attack on our Capitol. His careless words were and are dangerous.

I implore us all, red or blue, liberal or conservative, to abandon the violent and angry rhetoric and come together as friends and neighbors. We may see the world differently ... but we are still friends and neighbors.

I was taught a valuable lesson by my former Pastor, Dr. Dan Boone. I was CEO who was at odds with a business competitor. We both attended the same church and the aggressive businessman within me was screaming, “Go in for the kill” and I easily could have. I had a clear advantage, and I could have ended my competitor’s business. Over lunch, my pastor said, “Oh. I’m wondering if you’d do me a favor.”

I assured him that I would. He then told me of a local business that was in trouble and asked, “Will you pray for Tom and Mary? (not real names) “Their business is in trouble and a failure will cause them to lose everything.” He was of course talking about my competitor.

I gave my word and prayed for them daily. My attitude changed. I found a way that my success would not cause their failure. I have never regretted the decision to back off. My prayers for a competitor created compassion and an invaluable realization.

Life isn’t a zero-sum game. For one side to win the other doesn’t have to lose. I’ll admit that I didn’t vote for President-Elect Joe Biden, but now he’s first on my daily prayer list.

Even if you were a candidate, your success in life didn’t depend on this election. Your personal happiness wasn’t destroyed or created by who won or lost. Your happiness is a choice. If you are angry and miserable, it is because you chose to be so.

I happened upon a delightful movie on Netflix this week. “Full Count” is a story of a young athlete’s success that was unfairly stolen from him and how he deals with his future. After many twists and turns he comes to a life-changing realization. “Life isn’t going to make you happy. Your happiness is going to make your life.” Lots of wisdom in those words.

So, what’s my point? The election is over. On Jan. 20, 2021, a new administration will take office. Let us stop being Biden or Trump supporters and be supporters of our country and each other. For those of you who pray, I’m asking you to join me in praying for peace and unity.

First, let’s pray for the health of our new President and administration, let’s pray for wisdom to move our country successfully forward and for compassion for, and from, our new leadership.

Let’s also pray for President Trump and his supporters. Pray that he will come to terms with his loss and move forward the rest of his life using his influence for the good of all. I pray he takes a lesson from the example set by former President Jimmy Carter.

If you’re not a praying person, set aside what anger you feel for your fellow citizens. Extend kind thoughts and words for all regardless of which candidate they supported. If your candidate won, rejoice ... but please do not think of revenge or getting even. If your candidate lost, pray for the success of the new administration.

Do not allow your joy to turn into vindictiveness nor let your disappointment turn to violence. We can do better ... and will.

Only our adversaries benefit by our division and failure, while the entire world benefits from the unity and success of the United States of America. Don’t allow the actions of extremists on either side to extinguish the beacon of democracy.

Will you join me in prayer and positive words and actions?

May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com