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Home / Articles / Columnists / On the Bright Side /  A Call To Arms…. (THAT HUG)
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Friday, February 3,2017

A Call To Arms…. (THAT HUG)

By Jonna Shutowick. M.S. Ed.  
On the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, two political rivals came together to commemorate the “day that will live in infamy”. Both men served in combat during the Second World War and were inspired toward a life of public service as a result. Then, despite being on the same side of the political aisle, they became bitter political rivals later. During the 1988 Republican primaries, Dole publicly confronted Bush, demanding he “stop lying about my record”. (If only this were still an example of bitter. But I digress.) Bush went on to win the general election and, despite their rough, gloves off campaign, Dole went on to serve as the Senate Majority Leader in his administration. He explained, “Many people doubted I could serve the president since we had a rather rough campaign.” But that turned out not to be the case and the two put their differences aside and got to work. Dole explained that, “At that time you turned the page and said, ‘OK, I can either go backwards or forwards.”


The event was a Pearl Harbor commemoration, but was also to award Dole with the Bush Library’s award for public service. George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole sat side by side in their wheelchairs, gently sparring back and forth and making jokes. Watching this made me wonder if they weren’t motivated by more than bygones and the serenity, sensibility and wisdom that age affords us. Many former Republican leaders were put in the awkward position this past year of being confronted with unprecedented (cue Twitter) challenges and disruptions to politics as they know it. And, despite the extreme dignity with which the former President and his wife handled their feelings in public, it seems some may be trying to lead by example. Former President George W. Bush was slightly less diplomatic, refusing to endorse the Republican nominee and later, and, after the election, warning that “Anger shouldn’t drive policy; what needs to drive policy is what’s best for the people who are angry.” Sensible words directed to a new administration whose goal should be to try to unite the eve widening divide in our nation.

We the people need to refuse to buy into the storm that politicians and the media want to stir up for reasons that, honestly, are becoming beyond my comprehension. I used to chalk it all up to the 24-hour news cycle and the general marketplace of how news is spread. But at the moment, the machine is moving faster than we the people can reasonably keep up with and there is too much confusion, contradiction, complicity and, frankly, conning going on. Hate and fear has been stirred up and people are retreating to their corners. A real “call to arms” seems to be happening. Well, love warriors, how about a call to arms…. that hug?! It may sound trite, but really, it’s not. We need to spread the love - there’s a huge need for it right now and it’s free! Smile and say hello - especially to someone you disagree with. And offer hugs to those who will allow it. Hugs remove barriers - literally. Try to hug someone and not smile or feel the love. You’ll get resistance. Not everyone likes to be hugged. So hug them with your words. Let’s go on a crusade to just love each other to pieces. Resist the fear mongers (plenty on both sides!) Be a secret agent for love! My plan is to give out at least one candy kiss per day this February, and when the person asks why, I’ll just tell them I’m spreading the love because we all need it. What will you do?



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