Talk It Out.

About a month ago I started receiving random inspirational quotes via text message. I get two or three every week. It’s my phone number along with 5 others, all of whom have crazy area codes I’ve never heard of. I’m not sure why I get these or who is sending them, but I have enjoyed this random dose of deep thought a few times throughout the week.

Earlier this week the quote that came through was “An argument will determine who is right. A discussion will determine what is right.” I thought about this a lot.

I thought about my best friend who is a cop in Bowling Green and our many conversations about his work, his wild stories and his thoughts on the state of race relations in our country today. I thought about the need for us all to understand what its like to be an African-American in America today AND what it’s like to be a police officer in America today.

I thought about the number of shootings in our country on a daily basis. I don’t know pretend to even begin to know what the solution to this is, but what we can’t do is absolutely nothing. I thought about how careless we handle something so precious as life.

I thought about a fraternity at Old Dominion that was suspended for banners they displayed from their house balcony on move-in weekend inviting parents to “Freshmen daughter drop off” along with “Go ahead and drop off mom too”. I thought about a culture of rape and sexual assault on our college campuses. I thought about my experience in a fraternity and how positive it was. We need to stop associating these two things as exclusive without looking at the bigger picture. We need to do more to protect and respect women AND men on our college campuses and everywhere else for that matter.

I thought about the forest fires in Washington and the drought in California and the Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume and the refugee situation in Syria and the destruction of ancient artifacts and temples at the hands of ISIS and Presidential Campaigns and the possibility of a McWhopper and National Dog Day and a million other things.

We need more forums and town hall meetings and roundtables and average people engaging others, strangers, neighbors, families, fellow church members in these tough, awkward conversations.

We need less talk shows and less people on the extremes making policy for the majority of us in the middle.

We need to discuss the problems in our world. We need to recognize them and courageously tackle them.

I’m sure we may have different opinions on a lot of these topics and that is awesome. It’s what makes this whole big blender of people so great. I won’t argue with you – it’s not worth my energy, but I’m always happy to discuss these issues and work towards solutions and understandings and someday maybe, just maybe….we can figure out how to have world peace and how the Browns can finally win a Super Bowl. Wouldn’t that be nice?

-Nate

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