Crossing Divides

Carol A. Hand


Finding common ground,

It’s not as easy as it sounds

Just try it once or twice

Crossing divides

into discomfort and uncertainty

Suddenly your attention is heightened

Searching intently, listening deeply for clues

about how to act, what to say

unless, of course, you think you’re there to save others

But it’s definitely worth trying in either case

You’ll learn more about yourself and the world

than you ever thought possible



It seems in divisive times such as these

We need more peace-builder boundary spanners

People who genuinely want to understand

The essence of our shared humanity



About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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23 Responses to Crossing Divides

  1. DesertAbba says:

    And let the people say, “Amen!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wolfegeo says:

    Peace-builder Boundary Spanners. I love this Carol. There are so many trying to pull us apart, and they often succeed. We need to reach across the divide, not be cause we want to save someone or convert them to our ideology, but because we share a common humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A writer from the East says:

    Thanks for this post my dear friend, every day we wake up to see more hate, more death and more pain. And to top it all, more division.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Saadia. This time of heartbreaking ugly violence and divisiveness is distressing. It would be so easy to react in anger toward those in power, but the path of anger only feeds more violence. Instead, I want you to know that I am so deeply sorry for the centuries of suffering this colonial government has caused around the world. I send you my blessings, dear friend, and my promise that I will continue doing what I can to build peace and understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. smilecalm says:

    a most necessary solution, dear Carol!
    lets have food, music, dance
    and time to smile together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Crossing divides / into discomfort and uncertainty / Suddenly your attention is heightened / Searching intently, listening deeply for clues / about how to act, what to say”
    ~ Carol, that has been my experience as an immigrant and is probably true for a majority of immigrants. My greatest joy is being accepted as a fellow human being. Small children are great at this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and feelings, Rosaliene. I do hope we will be able to learn from the example of children how to be curious rather than fearful, open rather than guarded, kind rather than cruel.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sha'Tara says:

    All these deep and sincere comments about bridging divides keep bringing up an idea I’ve had for some time. Perhaps it’s really dumb; perhaps it’s already taking place but… considering the depth of knowledge native people have of the land, and living in harmony with it – a fact that the conquerors did their best to wipe out – could certain native communities have, like, “camps” where “white folks” could go to, paying a fee, to stay for a while and learn from native people on how to live in harmony with nature? It could be based on the Ashram concept of India… or??? Has this ever been officially attempted, or are there such communities in existence now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your questions are honest and important, Sha’Tara, but I need to take time to reflect before responding.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many ways I could respond to this question, Sha’Tara. In my experience, there are no easy ways to enlightenment. We each need to take responsibility to find the way. There are many who claim to have the answers for others. Some amusing and others who carry dark power. I’ve learned most from those who have suffered and live simply, quietly, on the margins.
      Given your recent post, I was reminded that the New Testament in the Christian Bible provides sage advice:

      Matthew 7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
      shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

      Mathew 8: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
      findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7 & 8, Bible, King James Version)

      It’s similar to Ojibwe advice:

      “Be moderate in all things; watch, listen, and consider, your deeds will be prudent.”
      (Midewewin Code, the Ojibwe “Path of Life,” Basil Johnston, 1976, p. 93)

      I will add something else I believe to be true. Wisdom is a gift. It can’t be sold or bought. Receiving it requires accepting responsibility for living it and sharing it with others who will also honor the responsibility it conveys.

      Thank you for asking such important, profound questions. I’m not sure my answers do them justice.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. khansana1000 says:

    Beautiful poem ! I wish more and more people cross these divides and experience the joy of shared happiness and peace!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful words for finding peace, Carol. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Annika Perry says:

    Lovely poem and beautiful sentiment and I love how the layout echoes the division you write about. How did you manage to keep the layout such on WP?


    • Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughtful comments, Annika. Layouts are a challenge on WP, aren’t they? WP automatically condenses the space between lines, making formatting difficult. If you double space lines, it’s possible to justify them separately, left, middle, or right.

      Liked by 1 person

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