It’s fun to listen to a football fan who is passionate about their team and who sticks with them through the wins and losses. After all, enthusiasm is infectious. It’s not enjoyable to listen to someone who simply wants the rival team to lose.
A lighthearted illustration, but an important point. We will be more interesting, enthusiastic, and passionate people if we become those who are FOR things more than we are AGAINST things.
In his book Them: Why We Hate Each Other And How To Heal, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) commented on the for versus against divide:
“What sustains people, really, is sharing a common cause, a common purpose – a sense of being in it together…We’re meant to be for things and people, but absent of that, most of us will choose to be against things and people, together, rather than to be alone. (pgs. 71-72)”
Nowhere does this ring truer than in the arena Sasse is playing in: politics.
Instead of being for sensible border and immigration reform, most are against decriminalization or against any type of holding facility.
Instead of being for sensible use of tax dollars, most are against the type of spending the other side of the aisle wants to pursue.
Instead of being for reasonable environmental policy, most are against climate change embracers or climate change deniers.
An example could probably be made of any policy point. Politics would look a lot different if we focused on being FOR things instead of simply against them.
What if we were FOR sensible healthcare reform instead of just against whatever the other ‘team’ is doing?
What if we were FOR saving taxpayer dollars instead of just being against spending them however the other side of the aisle wants to see them spent?
What if we were FOR comprehensive criminal justice reform, not just against parts that we think will undermine causes our party has held closely for decades?
It is not only far more interesting to be for something, but it is far more effective. There are certainly times where we need to stand against certain ideas and opinions, but, where we are able, let’s strive to be people who are for things, not just against.
PC: Rosemary Ketchum