“Make America Great Again!” (Donald Trump) These words were first used by Reagan in his presidential campaign, so the idea that America could benefit by changes is not new…think Abe Lincoln! The fact is, our country could benefit by doing some things differently. Improvement is good for America, just as it is for each one of us. As the old song goes…”Accent-u-ate the positive, Elim-i-nate the negative.” Do you have some bridge-building thoughts? ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: It figures that a couple of dinkledorfs like Reagan and Trump would use that slogan. What is "greatness"?====JACK: What is greatness? A Pharisee asked this question of Jesus and got an answer that explains why some people are so passionate in advocating for the needy of this world.====JOHN: I would never equate greatness with love. Love may include it but extends beyond it.====JACK: God's "greatest" commandment is to love (which is not a stand alone word, but is one connected with actions).====JOHN: Within the framework of the English language, "greatness" is attributed to folks like Alexander and Tsar Peter....hardly examples of love. ====JACK: Words take on different meanings in different contexts. Great is one. Truth is another.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: the only bridge story that comes to mind is the old "i got a bridge i'd like to sell you" one. i'm trying but pollyanna is having a hard time with this one.====JACK: Think of how difficult it must have been in Lincoln's day. Dr. Seuss put it this way, "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" To do nothing is a choice, too.====MARY: I am perplexed, not immobilized.====JACK: I'm advocating bridge building rather than continuing to build walls.
FROM QUILTING CAROL: Bridge building thoughts…do away with the TV media and their agenda. I think all of us could/would get along a lot better if the media wasn’t feeding us junk that just agitates people. As for me, I am trying harder to say ‘hello’ to everyone I meet or pass; wish them a good day if there is time and maybe listen a little better when people I’m with are talking. Like the song about Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative. Our pastor suggested recently that when people ask you – “how are you” that we should reply “Blest”. It accentuates the positive and eliminates any negative. I wish you a day of many blessings!====JACK: I think that the current situation for many is like a death. There has to be a period of mourning before moving back to the reality of life and dealing with it.
FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA: I wish. Not sure that bridge building is on this man's resume. Planning to watch and listen and respond when needed. Hard to believe a "man of faith" as they have called him this morning uses words to harm and insult others so frequently.====JACK: I cannot control what others may do, so I don't expect a man of "walls" to turn into a man of "bridges." My Winning Words today are a first step for me to do more than sit back and wring my hands. I also want to be available as a "bridge" when things do not go as planned. As Robert Burns wrote, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." It will not be an easy presidency...worse even when the electorate is not unified. I'm afraid that there may be darker days ahead and that there will be a need for Americans to come together at that time.====DONNA: Thanks Jack. Speech today included God. Wonder what his relationship is with God?====JACK: God doesn't mean the same thing to all people. So, I don't pay much attention to the word when it's used in political speeches. I do pay attention when it's used in places like Sandy Hook
FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH: At the dinner table in mid-December my little guy (5yo) says to my little miss (9yo). "I'm sorry sissy... I know you wanted Hillary to win." This was not totally out of the blue. My daughter was discussing her 4th grade lesson about government and the electoral college vote that day. It was the sincerity of this remark and the thoughtful conversation that followed between these two kids, much to our surprise, that made it stick in my mind. As a bridge-building thought, it is a reminder to see things from another person's perspective and to also remember that their perspective is valid and real for them. My son was a huge supporter of his made-up "Mr Kittypants" for president, but recognized my daughters real interest in this 'grown up' thing. Which is the other thing to keep in mind... the little ones are watching, listening, and living the things around them. Reactions to life, for better or worse, are worth talking about with them. Oh how many times I've been the one learning in those conversations.====JACK: You were fortunate enough to see the Bible (Isaiah 11:6) come alive at your dinner table. " In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all." There's an old saying, "I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future." ...God, of course! But, also little children like yours. ====LBP: I was listening to the NPR Politics Podcast about the inauguration and was struck by remarks from attendees that were interviewed. The feeling of "I feel safe now" and the woman who had said the way liberals are feeling right now, is how she's felt for 8 years and now the country is on a better course. With all the fears people have stated with President Trump coming into office, there was a large group opposed to President Obama ... and I guess fearful... perhaps for 8 years. Fear is such a strong emotion. It's such a hard one to counter too. Somehow I never equated Obama with fear. Maybe that shows my political leaning. But the more I can try to see the other side the better I hope I can do with bridges.====JACK: I think that it's possible to build a bridge over a wall...not easy, but possible.====LBP: Don't know. Could be easier than over a chasm. At least you can climb the wall brick by brick.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Think positive and say prayers! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸====JACK: Too many Godly people are acting as though God is on vacation. There are times when my "faith" needs a kick in the pants.
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Yes!!! Watch episode "Lemons" of "Black-ish." So well done! Episode 12 Season 3. No matter how you voted, it will make you think. It actually made me feel better. ====JACK: There was a time when Martin Luther was in a dour mood. His wife came into the room, dressed in black (mourning clothes). "Why are you dressed like that?" he said. "Well, you've been acting like God is dead," she replied. Sometimes we need someone to help us see the BIG picture.
FROM CZB IN THE BRANITE STATE: I'm good with making America great as long as we consider making it great for everyone! I'm off to the women's march in Boston with 100,000 of my sisters! The Boston Women’s March will gather peacefully to show the world that we stand for dignity, equal rights and freedom from discrimination for all. Ps - read a very interesting book for my book club- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. He's got some interesting views on the Bible and man's story on earth. Can't say I agree with it but good for discussion! Have you read it?====JACK: Before we cross over the bridge we have to know that we are going to be meeting peacefully. A commitment to non-violence is what made the Civil Rights marches successful. PS...No, I haven't read Ishmael, but I think that people would be more understanding of Muslims if they knew the story of him.====CZB: Hoping and believing this march will be peaceful. I'm not going in protest of Trump. He is our president now and I truly hope our country succeeds nationally and globally with him in charge. But in listening to campaign rhetoric I want to peacefully be a part of a large voice saying we must care for all people. Struggled with this. Re: Ishmael. He is a gorilla. Yep. The whole book is a Socratic dialogue between a gorilla and the narrator. Also going to a talk in a week called ask a Muslim anything. Should be interesting. Aren't I lucky to be able to do these things?====JACK: I didn't know that Hagar gave birth to a gorilla.
FROM JB IN MICHIGAN: Well said…my hope is that we come together and stop all the hate. Have a good weekend my friend.====JACK: In ancient times animosity was ended with a handshake (showing that no weapons were being carried). In some instances a kiss of peace was substituted for the handshake. In today's hostile climate we'd better be satisfied with the handshake.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: The problem with bridges is that people stand on each side and invite the other side to "come on over." I'd rather meet at a cross road where there are options a place both parties can agree to go.====JACK: The problem, as I see it, is not bridges or crossroads, it's obstinate people who are unwilling to make the first move. Conflict will not be resolved until someone is willing to reach out to the person on the other side. Today people just seem to be standing there, glaring at each other and yelling insults.====CHESTER: I agree with you 100 percent. "The other side is unwilling to talk." I wish God would do a little refereeing.====JACK: I think that the first penalty would be for unnecessary roughness.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: I always liked that song and appreciate your giving the Reagan history for make America great. You always find the positive.====JACK: The new President certainly wants to do things differently. Martin Luther used a German expression which seems applicable after today's speech..."Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater."
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It was quite an Inauguration wasn't it? I'd like to think positively about his remarks. Maybe we should all give him a chance. I'm willing. How about you?====JACK: I only saw some news segments.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I like Mark Shields and David Brooks a lot--they are journalists who are on PBS Newshour. David Brooks is the conservative one and he had some really penetrating things to say tonight. President Trump has really appealed to a large segment of our citizenry and I believe it's conservatives like Brooks and others who have a solid sense of history who will form a bridge with liberals and pull us through. Maybe it's a polyanna hope people can understand the history of our country and this can unify folks not just expecting folks to be unified over the needs of a program desired by both sides or something. My hat's off to former Presidents Carter and Bush and both Clintons and Bidens and Obamas for being at the inauguration--they seem to understand history very well. In church, I always think we should be unified by our theology and not by our outreach programs, just saying for example a sort of parallel. Have a feeling that Trump doesn't understand in a profound way the history of our country.
FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: Only gets scarier. Now we are building walls instead of bridges, eliminating people from our communities because they are different, preaching against abortion instead of promoting family planning, I can go on and on. I hope this one misinformed and small minded man can be slowed down by saner minds. And Pence is as scary as Trump, judgmental and biased. Course that paragraph makes me sound biased as well. Suppose I am.====JACK: I think that most people have an opinion about the new President. It's hard to be wishy-washy. And I also agree with you about Pence.