It doesn’t seem to make sense, especially in the wake of more mass shootings, to lash out at each other with anger, finger pointing and derision.

Does it ever help to battle aggression with aggression? Shouldn’t we model the behaviors we want to see in others?

In this climate of divisiveness, some people, especially politicians, attack the “other side” as idiots, racists, socialists, etc. They seem to forget that most of us have family in both blue and red states, so these “others” are all members of my family, and yours. We want them to be treated with respect and have their needs met, too.

In families, we understand that some have been blessed with more tools, opportunities or just better luck and health than others. All have important strengths and intelligence to offer and build upon. No one is without value, and no one’s needs should be ignored.

Everyone should be invested in the family, and everyone is expected to pitch in to the best of their ability. Shouldn’t our communities and government be a reflection of our families? This election year, I have promised my family and friends that I will fight for everyone’s rights and needs regardless of political preferences.

I will vote only for candidates who do not hold extremist agendas, don’t belittle others, can compromise and show consideration for the needs of everyone in my family and country. If this means splitting the votes of my party or voting for someone from the “other” party, so be it.

It matters how we treat others and how we allow others to be treated.

Janet Cray

Mount Vernon

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