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There's Too Much Anger Out There

Jeff Hall

Posted on August 16, 2017 13:18

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It's time we started talking to one another again.

When I was a wee lad, my grandmother, Beatrice, often used to tell me, "We are all God’s children."

She was very liberal, Boston-Irish-Catholic and a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. My uncle, a World War II naval hero who was in the same PT-boat squadron as JFK, used to say he thought granny was a communist.

If my memory is serving me properly, granny was a Suffragette in the 1920s. In the 1950s, when I was growing up, she made a very big point of taking my brothers, cousins and me to art galleries, museums and symphony concerts.

Beatrice was all about education and insisted on going over our report cards, item by item. She entered Radcliffe in her seventies. She didn’t live long enough to graduate.

Whenever there was controversy – the struggles of African Americans seeking basic rights, the "beatniks" of the time, or whether JFK, a Catholic, could really be elected president – she would say, "We’re all God’s children."

By this, she would explain, we needed to tolerate each other, listen to one another – and learn from each other. We wouldn’t all be here if God didn’t want us here. We all have our purpose on this planet, we were told.

It’s an interesting prism through which to view others. If God put another person here, and you believe in God, and you believe we’re all God’s children, it makes it a lot harder to hate that other person. 

As the Prayer of St. Francis goes, "grant that I may not so much seek ... to be understood as to understand." Whatever your religion – if you have no religion at all – it’s a good prayer for our times.

As a country, we need to pull back from the precipice. Let’s all take a deep breath. Let’s try and reach out to the other side. Remember, whoever that person is on the other side, he or she is a child of God.

Jeff Hall

Posted on August 16, 2017 13:18

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Source: The Atlantic
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