The "dark November of our soul[s]" got a little brighter with the end of the presidential campaign and its vitriolic back-and-forth.
The day after the election, one of my colleagues posted on Facebook a thoughtful paragraph asking that no matter which side of the Democratic-Republican divide we might occupy, we would pray for the two sides to work together to solve the overwhelming problems that face our country.
I wasn't quite ready to pray for those who'd vilified my candidates. I wanted to harbor that grudge a little longer, to revel in the defeat of those I had opposed, and to nurse my wounds in solitude over my failed favorites. I needed a little recovery time.
But I kept coming back to that request for prayer, to that inconvenient reminder that we are called to pray for our enemies as we do our friends. And I realized that my Facebook friend is right to ask for prayer in the immediate wake of the election. If I am loath at this point to give up my political antagonism, how much more difficult must it be for a legislator or ex-legislator to lay down the hatchet before a person who has offered him or her nothing but public criticism, disdain, and even ridicule? And if we don't make an effort to build bridges where there are only chasms right now, when will we make that effort?
Whitworth does this to you. It rattles your cage. It gets in the way of your prejudices. It reminds you of your responsibilities. It makes you think: If recent graduates are out there trying to bring about reconciliation in the world, how can I concentrate instead on thinking up ways to torpedo my rivals? How can I help? How can I encourage positive change? How can I convince those (including myself) whose anger is fueled by fear and ignorance to listen, to think, to learn, to care?
One of the things I value most about Whitworth is its refusal ever to let us off the hook. In keeping with that thought, I hope you'll find some important questions -- and maybe even a few answers -- in this issue of Whitworth Today.