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What if we start a conversation about what we can all agree on?

When Jon Stewart, my son-in-law and myself can actually agree on a principle, I start checking the weather report in Hell to see if there is a forecast of ice.

But when my son-in-law, whom I love but with whom I disagree politically, commented recently that there are other things we can agree on, I needed to stop for a moment and reflect.

What if we start a conversation about what we can all agree on?   What if we leave ideological principles at the door and go back and find the common denominator of Americans? Of Humanity?

So I will start this dialogue but please, feel free to chime in. Here are the ground rules:

1. Only positive comments

2. No political statements, derogatory or otherwise

3. No solutions or blame

4. Go general: what do we, or can we, all believe in?

Okay, here are mine:

1. We love our precious children

2. We want a nice place to live

3. We want freedom to pursue our dreams

4. We want safe neighborhoods

5. We want to feel productive

6. We are stewards of the earth

7. We want everyone’s individual rights to be respected

8. We want to have intelligent conversations with people with opposing views and to find common ground

9. We know there is always common ground

10. We all want for others what we want for ourselves

We can take any one of the above statements, break it down, take sides, call names and polarize one-half of the population. Or we can add to them with hope and dignity and intelligent compassion.

I was reading The Declaration of Independence yesterday (something I don’t usually do on a Sunday) but it was used as a template in a book I was reading. And although I have taken history, government, and political science in high school and college, and actually passed Constitutional Law in Law School, the facts of this great county hit me just yesterday:

Young people centuries ago had a dream to overthrow oppression and live in freedom and democracy, ideas that had not been seen for millennia. They courageously started a new, classless society with opportunity for everyone to pursue their dreams. There were no guarantees, no safety nets, no bailouts and nothing was free as everything had a price. Once they made this decision, there was no going back.

They gambled everything on this new concept and fought the strongest nation in the world.   They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor so we could live in this amazing country.

So can we stop bickering over sound bites and Twitter posts and start a conversation on what we, as a people, as a nation, and as a part of humanity, can all agree?

Tag, you’re it.

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