Moving the Lessons Learned From 2023 to the New Year

In 2023, polarizing rhetoric filled spaces: college campuses, school board meetings, town halls, news channels, social media, workspaces, and holiday gatherings.
New influencers changed the political discourse in different (above-mentioned) venues. “Rights of Free Speech” in the form of unfiltered prejudice, bigotry, homophobia, racism, anti-semitism - peppered social media feeds, protests, and everyday dialogue.
Political figures, news anchors, and “celebrities” in media outlets were “always right about everything” and “had all the answers.”
Suddenly, there were labels: "Good people vs Bad people.”
Protestors in Philadelphia, New York, and around the country, chanted in righteous defense of a country more than 6,000 miles away, creating a climate of fear for some. Synagogues and other Jewish institutions faced bomb threats, vandalism, threats of harm to religious leaders.
We do not have the power/authority to change and influence the politics and military decisions of the countries involved nor effect outcomes.

Hope and Harmony in 2024

  1. There are no “good “people and “bad” people.  We have recently framed the world as a contest, with “good” people on one side and "bad" people on the other side.

  2. “Since none of us has a monopoly on truth, we need to let everyone determine it on their own.” (Johnathan Zimmerman, University of Pennsylvania teacher; author of “Who’s America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools.”)

  3. Let us become respectful listeners and reflect on the message of the other.

  4. Tolerate opinions that are different from yours, and do not try to change minds or convince others that your point of view is the correct one.

  5. FORGIVENESS. Ask for it from anyone you have hurt or insulted.  Give it to others who you feel have wronged you.

  6. KINDNESS.  Practice being kind every day.
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