Political society

Relations do not win civil society key | Editorials

A nurse at Pastor Mary’s church said of the effort, “It’s things like that that say, ‘Hey, we see you. We know things are tough. It’s enormous.”

It’s fair to wonder, in light of all the good reported on our pages, why many feel so pessimistic about where we are as a society.

One clue lies in the story of Pastor Mary. Describing what healthcare workers face, Meg Pemberton, Head of Geriatric Care, said: “In 2020 they were heroes.” As frustrations with masks and protests against vaccines erupted, people lashed out at healthcare workers. Therefore, “in 2021, they were reviled”.

The struggles and challenges we face in this life are real and finding solutions is never easy. However, when our approach to these issues shifts from helping others win our personal battles, that is where vitriol and animosity emerge.

Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th District made that point in a Feb. 3 interview with The Free Lance–Star. In an in-depth discussion of the new district lines, her upcoming campaign, and her approach to governance, she shared how we are beginning to find our way back to civility.

“You can be a Democrat, Republican or Independent,” she says. “Where we go wrong is that as soon as we don’t agree, we close because we don’t think we can go anywhere.”