This week, we remember Senator John McCain.
It has been striking to read the remembrances
from Senator McCain's colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans and Democrats alike
admired Senator McCain
for his straight talk
and his principled actions.
Republicans and Democrats alike called him friend.
His voice will be sorely missed in our national debates.
The quote above is taken from McCain's recently published memoir.
Here is the quote in context...
"Before I leave, I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. I'd like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different. We're citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it. Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect, as so long as our character merits respect, and as long as we share for all our differences for all the rancorous debates that enliven and sometimes demean our politics, a mutual devotion to the ideals our nation was conceived to uphold that all are created equal and liberty and equal justice are the natural rights of all. Those rights inhabit the human heart, and from there though they may be assailed, they can never be wrenched.
I want to urge Americans for as long as I can to remember that this shared devotion to human rights is our truest heritage and our most important loyalty."
"Whether we think each other
right or wrong
in our views on the issues of the day,
we owe each other our respect"
John McCain listened respectfully to other opinions while
still standing up for what he believed to be right.
He valued the debate that comes from
citizens respectfully engaged in political conversations.
Senator McCain showed us what bipartisanship could look like...
When McCain received his party's nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in 2008,
he included these words in his acceptance speech......
"Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We’ll go at it over the next two months. That’s the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn’t be an American worthy of the name if I didn’t honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement."
"Despite our differences, much more unites than divides us."
Let's take Senator McCain's words to heart
and look for what we have in common.
His parting words give us hope that this is possible...
"...we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we'll get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do."
RIP Senator McCain
Thank you for your service to our nation.
When you see that word spelled out,
one spectacular voice comes to mind, right?
Otis Redding wrote the song,
Aretha Franklin made it an anthem.
As we honor the memory of the remarkable
Queen of Soul this week,
let's pause to consider the concept of RESPECT.
Find out what it means to me!
What does it mean to YOU?
What does it mean in the Purple Living Room Project?
is the first word in the
All of our conversations
must start with respect
in order for us to
find purple points together.
We use an equal sign to represent the word RESPECT because in order to give respect to others,
we need to acknowledge that they have an equal right to their
beliefs and opinions.
That's sometimes hard to do,
but we can make it happen.
Let's try it...
Let's give each other
Not just a little bit...
Let's give a LOT!
Let's take a moment to talk about kindness.
It's something we're missing in many of our national conversations.
Debates are increasingly rancorous.
Insults are hurled from the right and the left.
Everyone starts yelling louder and with more vitriol just to be heard.
Let's stop and remember...
Kindness is always possible.
It's a choice.
Take a moment to think of the many forms
of kindness you've experienced today.
Help you with a small task?
Make something for you?
Hold a door for you?
Cheer you up?
What did you do for someone else?
How have you made someone else's day brighter?
Kindness is a central part of the Purple Code...
"We will be kind with our words and actions."
It's a choice we make
each time we come together
to find Purple Points.
We make a commitment to be
to one another while we look for common ground.
Let's try to carry that spirit of kindness into all of our interactions...
It's always possible.
If laughter is the best medicine, it's time for a national prescription.
As political tension continues to mount across our country,
we need a way to let off some steam.
The Purple Code intentionally includes the word...
If we're going to look for common ground,
a great first question to ask is...
What can we laugh about together?
Let's find out!
As we're gathering to find purple points,
let's try not to take ourselves too seriously.
If we can approach our dialogue with
an open heart and a good sense of humor,
we stand a better chance of finding common ground.
Here's a joke to get us started...
Lettuce laugh a little together!
The news is full of clouds these days.
No matter who you are
or where you live
or what you believe...
it's easy to get lost in the clouds.
Can we listen to the wise words of poet Maya Angelou?
Can we try to be a rainbow for those around us?
There are many kinds of clouds
and many different rainbows
needed in this overcast world of ours.
The Purple Living Room Project aims to break up
the clouds of political division around us.
Each time we have a
around an issue that matters....
Each time we communicate
with our elected officials about
where we find common ground...
Each time we listen to one another
and laugh together...
We're sending a little bit of colorful light into the world.
So, let's get moving, rainbows!
If we each take this message to heart,
we can break through the clouds
"Meet in the Middle"