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  • Janine Turner

What is America's Common Ground?

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Americans feels perplexingly divided. Anxiety is ubiquitous. The air has a languor of angst. It seems we are a people who have no cultural commonality anymore, no moral unity. Despair and a sense of powerlessness weigh heavily upon us.

We are a nation that values freedom of religion—and freedom of speech, press, petition and assembly. Individuality and liberty exude from our essences, from within the intricacies of our DNA. Yet, how do we find unity in this creed gone wild? We desperately seek a person, an elected official, a savior to save us. We wring our hands and cry, “When will this mayhem end?” We look outside of ourselves for the answer. “Who will fix this?” As I have been pondering this thought it occurred to me, perhaps it begins with me...perhaps it, also, begins with you. As we yearn for peace and unity, as we feel overwhelmed with powerlessness, I realize that we do have a power. It is love.

Love is the seed, the energy, the gift, the goal. I write about it in my new book, The Pivot Principle, Finding Joy in Despair:

All you need is love,” the Beatles told us. “It is better to give than to receive,” Jesus taught us. Plato wrote in The Symposium, “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature.” Since Plato is my favorite philosopher, I will quote another. He also wrote, “Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.”

Self-love is essential, as well. It is hard to transmit something we do not have. This is a good lens with which to observe the inhumane things that are happening all around us. Does the perpetrator have any self-love—with which to love. Without the foundation of love we cannot imbue another person, our community, or our country with mutual charity, respect, honor and dignity. In the same way a smile breeds a smile, love breeds love. How can it not? It is the genesis of all things.

Complexity confounds the overarching goal to fix the problems that ail us as a nation. Ironically, the common moral ground that envelops all of us, and is one with which we can all readily identity and communicate—is love. We don’t need to elect someone to do it for us. We don’t need another person to fix this for us. We have the tool of love within our very being.

Love is our moral unity.

Without love, we have nothing. Without love, life means nothing. Love. It all begins with love.

Janine Turner The Pivot Principle, Finding Joy in Despair

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Hey Janine, love your work.

I agree that love is an important piece, but you assume that all citizens in America (and people around the world) want us to thrive. There are people who hate America and what it stands for, liberty, prosperity, individual rights, etc. They hate us, simply for existing. There are many underlyting reasons for this hatred, deeply rooted in fundamental philosophical differences, which can be traced back to Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Kant, Descartes, Marx, Marcuse, Adorno, Foucault, etc. The more basic questions to ask are, What is it about America that is worth fighting for, and to what lengths are we willing to challenge and resist those forces and the people who act on them?



paul pearce
paul pearce

Beautifully written, deeply felt. A mantra to be passed throughout the land. If there were more love there would be so much less evil. To paraphrase JRR Tolkien "If more of us loved home and each other above gold, it would be a happier world."


John Saunders
John Saunders

Yes! Without loving yourself, you won't see it coming from others. Many feel that didn't get early love and don't they can get it. 🤗😍



Very nice. Love is where its a.

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