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Monday, January 25, 2016

All the Men and Women

When I wrote this post about session last year I was feeling very differently about, politics. I felt light-hearted, almost hopeful....excited. This year, for many reasons, I'm feeling a bit more sober. Maybe it's the realization that I've exhausted all possibilities. Maybe it's the fact that it's an election year, which always exhausts me from the sheer lunacy of what the process has become. Governing is now an afterthought. Despite my drab tone today, I still love the work I get to do.

"All the men and women together are more than all the men and women separately."

Frederick Douglass

That quote, which hung in my father's office and now hangs in mine, is never more beautifully on display than MLK Day down at the Virginia General Assembly. The sheer number of advocacy events that happen that day mean that almost every facet of life is represented. Some I agree with, some I don't. Some I abhor and some I applaud. All are passionate and vocal. All say they are well informed and full of facts that will illustrate the path they suggest is the right one. The problem is that every year each sides' capacity to listen to the other becomes smaller. 

As I walked the halls doing meetings on that particular day Mr. Douglass' quote kept creeping back into my imagination. Tolerance and understanding, while perceptionally corny and rarely on display, are the only things that I hope will save us in the end. Whether we like it or not, we're all in this together.

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