What happened in Minneapolis is unacceptable. There needs to be justice, but it will not be obtained with chaos and destruction. What happened at our Nation’s Capitol was horrifying. Every voice whether shouted or whispered deserves to be heard, but there is a civil way to go about it. In President John F. Kennedy’s Peace Speech, he stated that “it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of all others and to respect the law of the land.” How appropriate to what is transpiring today. There must be law and order. We cannot allow our neighbors, businesses, homes, cities, and our dreams be destroyed because of hate. There needs to be civil discourse where individuals can disagree without being shouted down by hecklers and where social media is not a platform of insults and outright threats.
We have all noticed an increase in a lack of civil discourse in America over the last several years now. We need to find a way to engage with each other and find consensus. Harmony and goodwill may be closer to attainment when we are willing to think of others before ourselves; when we accept each other for who we are and respect our differences. I would like to extend a message of peace to our Lebanon community. I’m asking us to come together on this, because Lebanon is our home and home is where love and respect should start. Our children should learn from our example. It is vital to THEIR future that we put aside differences, find consensus, and become united for the betterment of our country and our community. We need to understand who we each are as individuals and recognize that we also represent a family- our Lebanon family. We need to be one voice… and take a stand against hate and encourage peace. We need to show compassion in a divided world and promote unity within our community by staying positive and spreading hope. The best way to stop violence and discrimination is to celebrate our differences. We can inspire and energize and when properly supported and empowered, there can be no group more powerful or more able to change our community than US! Let us recognize each other’s uniqueness andour common interests and attempt to resolve our differences.
Martin Luther King, Jr has said: “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”