On the Feb. 11, Gazette's religion page you may have noticed a picture with its caption about the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists' building dedication and reference to an anthem sung by the choir. I bring that to your attention because of its words.
Major themes of the anthem, entitled "The People Build a Home," are for it to be "a place of meeting ," "a place of trust," and a place to "listen". We are to "listen first, listen last, listen past our comfort zone."
While driving around town with WHRV radio station turned on, I heard a renowned psychologist speak about the need for our fellow citizens to just listen to each other; squabbling and berating each other goes nowhere physically or mentally toward a person's health or a community's health, for that matter.
In a Washington Post column a week or so ago, the author compared what is going on in the U.S. to what began years ago in his native Venezuela. He suggested that rallying and rioting were not the answer, instead people should sit down and listen, really listen, to each other to fully come to, if not agreement, at least an understanding.
In this time of fierce discord within and across all geographic boundaries, instead of fomenting discord, how about promoting discourse with open, honest discussions — organize a gathering, have a cup of tea or coffee?
With the variety of meeting places available in our community — houses of worship, neighborhood clubhouses, educational facilities, the library, even a home or patio — there are many possibilities for really listening to each other. In that anthem, other words admonish us to "open the door, open the door, open the door." Let's open our doors to each to each other for understanding. "Listen, listen, listen" whispers the anthem's end.
James City County
Member, Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists