It was from William James that I think if first heard the following: “Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each as he other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” That simple statement is filled, I think, with a lot of truth. If we try to expand these simple ideas to apply to some specific situations, would it be helpful? For example,in this season when everybody is concerned with politics and voting, we can ask what happens when a Democrat and a Republican meet each other. Do we consider that relationships might improve if we consider the analogy of William James–thus three Democrats and three Republicans are present in that meeting? No wonder the two have difficulty in such a meeting. And when you apply that thought, if you could, to Congress where you have so many Democrats and Republicans trying to meet with each other!
Let’s start with our own personal voting, which all of us should do. Let’s try to elect people that we believe will be able to carry on meaningful conversations with someone of different political persuasion. Or do we have to fall back on what we have heard in military circles so many times that politics should be a topic that’s best avoided between officers and gentlemen?