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‘Tis the Season to Unite


Throughout 2017, a cloud of division has hung over our nation.  I was saddened to learn that a number of my friends are experiencing diminished and even severed relationships with friends or family members as a result of political views.

During the holiday season, our hearts are more open than at any other time of the year.Let this be a season of healing; for our individual relationships and for our nation.  Let us reclaim and celebrate our similarities, while seeking to understand our differences.

As a start, we could agree to a politics-free holiday meal. One of my friends made a sign over her dining room entrance: Politics not welcome here. At that special holiday dinner, we could set our differences aside and enjoy the fellowship that sustained our relationships over the years.

Granted, this is just a temporary solution, for there is still an elephant in the living room.  The main issue remains: How do we communicate with each other around differing viewpoints, and yet remain loving friends or relatives?  Emotions run high; there’s no easy fix.  But still we must try, we have to start somewhere.

Let’s each make a New Year’s resolution to open dialogue with one other person, or with a small group of people. The goal would be to promote understanding in the presence of differences, in a respectful environment.  With just a few ground rules this could be a harmonious process.

  • Each person gets five minutes to state their political view.
    • No raising of voices
    • No name calling
    • No interrupting
  • A short question and answer period would follow
    • This is for clarification only
    • This is not a time to preach or debate opposing views
  • Then take time to reflect on what you’ve learned and move on. You may have benefited from a different point of view, or you may simply agree to disagree.

 If we can allow for political differences in a spirit of understanding and respect we can restore unity to our nation one friend at a time, one family at a time.

‘Tis the season to unite.

written by Amy Bryant, Safety Harbor resident blogger

Amy Bryant

Author of You CAN Go Home Again


  1. What a perfectly-timed reminder that relationships can survive difference of opinion on just about any topic. In the face of 24-hour media bombardment it is difficult to remember that we are family and/or friends and that civility trumps (pardon the pun) confrontation in nearly every situation.

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