He asked me how I was going to address the increasingly divisive rhetoric in and around the presidential election.
Not if I was.
But, how I was.
Behind his question was both was both an assumption and a request.
The assumption was that this place – a church – would have something to say about how we are talking to and about one another. The request was for some sort of framework; some reminders of values that he could use and others could use to think about and to shape his own response.
At some point, our conversation shifted from How was I going to talk about it to How might he talk about it. He is an educator. Charged with helping young adults not only learn facts and figures, but, more importantly, helping young adults learn to think and to articulate their ideas. What he was seeing was that the rhetoric of the campaign was already spilling over into the hallways and the classrooms of the school where he worked.
Where is the moral voice? He asked.
Not the political voice.
Not the economic voice.
Not the domestic policy or international affairs voice.
But the voice which reminds the rest of us of how we are to talk and to treat each other especially in such a heated and divisive moment?
In the end, that voice is our voice.
Each of our voices.
And, we are left to decide if and how we will use it.