30 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
– Mark 12:30-31New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Loving some neighbors is hard especially when they put out the wrong political yard sign. I struggle to even tolerate them this time of year.
And yet, these are families I know and love, so I work harder at it. Then I wonder about people across town and in other parts of my state. Do I have to love them too?
Love Builds Up, I believe, so I ask if these candidate signs add love or only separate us further?
I wonder if the yard signs are even necessary. The experts say they do little good, if any, but they are necessary for the base (whoever they are).
David Mowery wrote in Campaigns and Elections:
“…most consultants, myself included, feel they’re a complete waste of time. But proving that to a candidate and his cadre of volunteers is another story. I can quote the misguided sign strategy from a plethora of volunteers over the years. “Y’all got any signs? I got a lot of good locations if you want to put some of them 4x8s out,” one supporter told me.
“We gotta get us up a sign committee and really get ‘em out,” another eager beaver said. One enterprising fellow once told me: “I got a pickup truck that I park around town, and for $50 a week I’ll put your sign in the back.”
“But inevitably, some folks view signs as a barometer of a campaign’s effectiveness. Under this logic, if a candidate doesn’t have enough visible yard signs, is she even a candidate? “Y’all hardly got any signs out,” one volunteer told me recently. “Your opponent has ‘em everywhere. It’s like you’re not even running.”
So up go the yard signs, along with the volume on the rhetoric, and I find it even harder to love my neighbor as myself. Sure, I could put my sign out, but that just makes the situation worse. My neighbors will be as upset with me as I am with them.
I will vote. I always do. At this point they should have a good idea of how. If anyone wants to know why or talk about it, we can have coffee and maybe find common ground, something that is missing in recent elections.
My vote – yard signs divide neighbors – and neighborhoods – and communities. So vote NO to the sign.
How do you feel? Why do you put up yard signs, and stickers on your car, if you do?
Has anyone ever said, “I’m glad you put up that sign,” unless they were already on your side? Can you tell me about neighbors who have had signs damaged or stolen?
Do you have examples of how we have grown further apart in our country with all the political wrangling?
As always, the conversation starts here.
“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran
Watch our news reporters and political leaders setting a not-so-great example of how to have a constructive discussion.