samedi, septembre 13, 2008

Sharing a story

I'v e been reading some web articles and books and scriptures on forgiveness. One of the assertions made by Dr. Sondra Wheeler has stuck with me. In her book "What We were Made For" Christian Reflections on Love," Wheeler asserts that in helping to reconcile a marriage that has come apart, it's essential that partners help create a common story. Only when they can see that the other, the person they may consider an adversary, also has reasons for doing what he or she did, can they forgive each other. He or she behaved badly. Perhaps you also did? This theme, that of creating a common story, is a fascinating overlay to this fall's Presidential election. If we don't have, or can't make a common story, then we automatically have a tough time trusting each other. Obama and McCain and Palin (where is Biden?) keep trying to reach us with their story-trying to bring us into it so that we make it our story too. Making up after arguments would be so much simpler if we could just leap into empathy. But it takes passion-and hard work. Then, of course you really have to want to create a common story with someone with whom you may vehemently disagree-perhaps it's easier to go your own way. But I don't believe that we can get too far as a country unless we sit down and tell each other our stories-with the empathy to believe that his or hers is as compelling as is ours.

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