Point by James Hull

Aren’t we all tired? Weary?

Weary of the divisiveness, the name-calling, the labeling?

I am. And I wish I could do something about it, but unfortunately, there is too much strife and dissolution, these days Several weeks ago, I was talking to an old college chum who, a few years back, served as a Republican state representative. We talked and reminisced more like brothers than college mates.

Last week, I stopped in Greenwood and visited with another friend. Before we knew it, we had spent the entire afternoon and well into the evening, enjoying each other’s company. For nearly four hours we sat and visited. There was not one mention of Donald Trump or George Floyd. There was no railing against the liberals or the conservatives. There was no finger pointing over the state of the country. There was just us, two friends of 50 years, just having a loving visit.

Earlier this summer, I called a well-known Tupelo businessman whom I’ve known since the 11th grade and we chatted in the middle of his work day for nearly an hour. The subjects of race and politics never came up. It was just a joy for us both to talk with a childhood chum who is still around to talk to and remember some of the same things.

The truth is my recent reconnections with these men, all of whom just happened to be white, is not aberration. It is as common as glass of water. But, sadly, it is also not the current norm. We have become divided.

I have said it before and I will say it again, white people and Black people and brown people, and conservatives and progressives and libertarians and working men and retired women and college students, all have more in common than we do differences.

I don’t know about those reading this space right now, but I’m tired overemphasizing the differences and ignoring our one common element: humaneness.

Counterpoint by Ed Holliday

James, I hear you loud and clear. In fact, your point resonates like a cool breeze blowing while sitting on a front porch on a hot Mississippi summer day. Sipping a cup of iced tea would make it even better. I am glad that you and others that I know are finding time to reconnect. In our super-hyped world of non-stop news and divisive rhetoric we must make the time to enjoy why we all are made in the image of God.

With a rip roaring presidential election, senate and house races, and never ending social media messages a person could feel like there is no time for rest. Somehow we know that we can walk away but the drama sucks us into the frenzied world day after day. The coronavirus pandemic has changed our world for now and possibly forever. Shaking of hands has all but stopped, the elbow bump and the fist bump and the head nod have replaced it. Remembering sitting on front porches and shooting the breeze reminds us that there was no Neshoba County Fair this year---and in an election year, what are Mississippi political junkies supposed to do?

No matter how the election comes out, we must wrap ourselves around the things that we have in common with one another. Like you said James, let’s accentuate those things that we agree on. From that basis we can grow wiser, laugh more and laugh often. And the fact that we are made in the image of God will better reflect who made us by the way we live and treat one another. I find myself asking a common question, what time is it? It is time to work together, laugh together, and build together. Yes, we can.

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