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Feed good wolf inside us all

To the editor:

Door-to-door canvassing in my neighborhood for the candidates I support in the upcoming election has been enlightening.

Most people are tired of the political process, and yet, people are friendly. Even those whose ideas are different from mine are willing to chat, with civility, as long as we avoid the topic of politics.

When we allow ourselves to become cynical or angry, our form of government is weakened. Especially during an election, we citizens have the opportunity to become involved and excited. It is a choice, and we are missing a huge opportunity when we decide not to engage in civil discussion about politics.

A story might be helpful – A Cherokee boy who is trying to understand some of the bad thoughts he is having asks his grandfather to help him understand himself. The grandfather explains, “You, like everyone, have two wolves inside you. One wolf is afraid, selfish and angry, and the other is hopeful, generous, and kind. These two wolves are always fighting with each other, inside you and all people.” The boy asks, “Which wolf wins?” and the grandfather replies, “The one you feed.”

It seems we have been feeding our bad wolves, choosing to believe the worst possible things about those who have taken the huge risk of running for political office. Instead of honoring people who want to serve us at all levels of government, we engage in negative campaigning, starving our better nature.

When we follow the commandment to love our neighbor, we are doing as much good for ourselves as for our neighbors. Reaching out to others not only keeps our hearts and minds peaceful but also maintains a form of government that requires us to work together to solve problems.

Most people have strong opinions in this campaign, which gives us an opportunity to practice good manners. It takes some courage to talk with each other about politics, but the strength of our republic is at stake.

Carolyn Peterson

Houghton

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