Bridging Divides

I know there are only 17 sleeps till Christmas but there is only 1 till the General Election! Within hours we will have the results of an election campaign that has been described as divisive. As the results pour in many will be disappointed, many jubilant and many wondering, ‘what next?’.

Of course, countries throughout history have experienced painful elections that have impacted family loyalties and left people feeling alienated. Beyond the politicking, spin-doctoring and grand manifesto promises, the path to a united country with clear differences will happen by individuals and institutions committing to taking one step towards each other.

This does not mean we demean differences of opinion (peacefully held and acted upon) – but it must mean we can engage in dialogue that starts by listening to others to the end – without interruption, or thinking about how our next point can score points. I don’t believe that talk is cheap – the conversations that have played out during the election campaign will prove to be costly and the conversations we have going ahead will be the same.

As we each take one step to raise the quality of the conversation at every level of society, I know we have it in us to answer the question, ‘what next?’.

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