Our View: We don’t have to agree to be kind

Our social climate has become increasingly more polarized in recent years.

It seems our thought processes are always about us vs. them. It might be conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democrat, white vs. people of color, pro-life vs. pro-choice or whatever other thing we think we need to define ourselves by.

But the truth is, we do not have to segregate ourselves based our differences.

Recently, Ellen Degeneres shared a heartwarming message on her daily talk show.

The message came after she, a Packers fan, was photographed sitting with Cowboys fan and former U.S. president George W. Bush at a Packers-Cowboys game this weekend.

Many question why two people who root for different teams and also sit on different sides of the metaphorical political fence would be found sitting together and dare we say, being friendly to one another, especially in today’s political climate.

Here is what Ellen had to say about the matter:

“So this weekend I went to Dallas for the Cowboys game, and during the game, they showed a shot of George (W. Bush) and me laughing together and people were upset. They thought, ‘Why is a gay, Hollywood, liberal sitting next to a conservative, Republican, president?’ … Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs I have. We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different. Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them. When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.”

Ellen has long been an advocate of loving each other despite our differences.

“I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connected thing. We are all from the same exact molecules,” she said previously.

We commend Ellen for using her platform to spread this message of acceptance and love. The truth is, there is no us or them. We are one society and we should have one common mission — to make our country, our community, our family, etc. better for the next generation.

We can still like, be friends with and even be kind to people who think differently than us, who vote differently than us, who look different than us. If we did that, if we were kind to everyone despite our differences, we would likely find we have more in common than we originally thought. We might be able to work together to help each other, help our community and help our country be better.

This doesn’t mean that we have to sit back and be OK with things like bigotry, racism, sexism, etc. Those are things we should all be repulsed by and reject, no matter where or who it comes from. But just because we disagree on some things or have other differences does not mean we have to hate each other. Just be kind.

That’s the message Ellen spreads, and we think it’s one that if put into action could change our whole society for the better. Let’s make Winchester, America, the world kind again.

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and Bluegrass Newsmedia editors Whitney Leggett and Ben Kleppinger. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095.