An old Chinese proverb speaks to the challenge of building bridges.
Imagine a steep chasm that divides a path. There are people on either side, but they cannot cross. Worse, none of the trees on either side are tall enough to span the divide. So what is to be done?
If people will bend a tree on either side, then lash their ends together, a bridge can be formed. However, it won’t be sufficient for the sides to “meet each other half way.” Instead, it is necessary to extend beyond the middle so that there will be enough of each tree to be lashed together, thus providing strength to the bridge.
So it is with the presidential contest in the US. No matter which candidate wins the election, each side of this dangerous chasm that now sits between a nation divided must contribute to building a bridge to reunite us.
Each of us must consider ourselves culpable for allowing this chasm to form. How many times, confident of our own moral high ground, did we fail to listen to the cries of the other? How many times did we turn a deaf ear to the disenfranchisement that only deepened our mutual divide?
As we enter the harvest season, let us recall the bounties we each possess and those our neighbors do not. Remember: more often than not what we really need we do not already possess, but can only be obtained by binding our fate to our neighbors’.