For The Daily Gazette
With the election season upon us, we are inundated with negative campaigning which polarizes us.
All this is an attempt to sway votes.
The Schenectady Clergy Against Hate (SCAH) implores each and every one of us to claim our better nature and reclaim civility in our conduct.
The fear mongering of political campaigns is fostering ugly behavior by some of the followers of individual politicians.
This must stop.
Each of us must strive to recapture a sense of civility, compassion, and kindness in our social interactions.
SCAH believes we each have the power to widen the divides or begin to make things better for all of us. Our communities deserve our best selves.
Whether we agree with each other or not, we share a common humanity. Any of us can call out improper conduct by acting with dignity.
We dare not stand idly by when people mock or intimidate another with their words.
We must not remain silent when hatred is the language of discourse.
Let us strive to reclaim solidarity as our baseline of engagement and commit to fostering a sense of wholeness in our community.
We each have a choice before us: we can strive to make our society better by recognizing the divine in each other and treating people accordingly.
Conversely, we can continue to widen the divide, adversely impacting our ability to be a community.
Let us not remain polarized. It is in our hands to make things better.
During this election season, let us begin to live out Gandhi’s famous charge: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
This column was written on behalf of the Schenectady Clergy Against Hate. Rev. Amaury Tañón-Santos is CEO of Schenectady Community Ministries. Rev. Timothy Coombs is co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia.