By Dwight Clough
Via: Author Request
Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Tired of the strident, bellicose voices blasting their way into your head every day? Weary of the divisiveness, pugnacity and acrimony over political parties and elections, of being riled up – or hearing from those who are riled up – over partisan talking points?
Have we got a deal for you. It’s called End the Divide. This new book ‘explores how people of faith can lead the way to end the toxic polarization in our culture.’
Now, if you’re looking for a book that reinforces your personal political agenda, rehashes partisan arguments, or takes pot shots at The Other Side, keep looking. Cuz this ain’t it.
This is something rarely seen in the political-ish realm: An honest look at what it takes to “end the divide” between both sides of the political aisle and how that can be accomplished.
In the Beginning
To begin at the beginning, the author gently explains that this book is “about how good people should be treating good people” and defines same. Without being preachy or pedantic, the author notes that we need God to define Good and Evil, not politicians, journalists, commentators, educators or fact checkers. The only One who sees “with perfect moral clarity,” writes Clough, all the time, on everything, is God. His values do not change.
Continuing, Clough cites Real Life examples of why and how good people disagree. How our perspectives are “wise, warped, and limited.” About why we need each other, even when we disagree. Because we each have something to teach the other. “As we learn from one another, our perspectives mature,” writes Clough.
For example, “If you need your world to change so you can be okay, you’re not ending the divide,” writes Clough. ”… Instead, you’re asking the world to heal you. Here’s a better idea: Get your own healing first. Then you go back and heal your world.”
“There will be no peace between people until there is peace within people.”
That’s Square One for this practical, down-to-earth book. The author proceeds to explain, in precise and easy-to-understand language, how to do just that. He offers a simple, step-by-step process “for downloading this inner peace from God.”
He continues with 7 Steps to End the Divide and how to become “True Friends” despite our differences. These are really, really good, by the way. Each step focuses on growing you instead of stomping all over everyone else. Instead of just telling people to “be nice,” he offers a deep dive into how to “end the divide” – starting with a look in the mirror.
Along the way, a lot of questions are raised to consider and ponder. Like why anger divides and alienates. Why the “real enemy” isn’t the person on the other side of the political fence with whom you disagree, but “the evil inside people.”
“Evil has placed people under its power. But we have the medicine that will set people free.”
Also discussed is how to look for “hidden solutions” that allow everyone to win. Ditto why and how to build across divides and how to find common ground. And thinking outside the box to attain a “win-win.”
Later, he asks how would you design a place that “works for you, works for me, and works for every other good person who ever lived?” And how do we make that happen?
The message is not confrontational. It’s not In Your Face. It doesn’t pit one side of the political aisle against the other. In fact, it’s not against anyone. And that makes it a welcome breath of fresh air.
Open & Authentic
Indeed, there’s an openness and an authenticity to the writing that’s disarming, winsome, and magnetic. Anchored in a biblical worldview, End The Divide is as warm and welcome as a ray of summer sun on a frigid February morning.
Kimber here. Mind if I jump in? Good.
So. Speaking of “open and authentic” – sort of – I’m telling you Her Grumpiness didn’t really want to read this book. She opened it out of a “sense of obligation.” I don’t know what that means. But it doesn’t sound as good as a T-bone steak.
You see, when Mom got this book, she was neck-deep in One of Those Days. It was raining. She forgot to pick up my dog food at the store. The dishwasher thingy conked out. Water all over the kitchen floor. Long story.
Then she spent almost two hours on hold trying to get “tech support” to help with a modem issue. (One hour and 58 minutes, to be exact. But who’s counting? They didn’t help. They just sent her back into the Black Hole of Endless Voice Mail Menu.) Followed by Too Much To Do and Not Enough Time to Do It.
Basically, Mom was Not. A. Happy. Camper. Okay. She was pretty irritated and agitated. Think washing machine on steroids. Aka: Mount Vesuvius Mom. And she only started this book cuz the author asked for a review Real Nice.
Then something happened. Something unexpected.
The more Mom read, the less irritated and agitated she was. She felt calmer. Peaceful-er. Suddenly, about halfway through, the “sword” slipped from her hands. Strong Peace invaded. She felt inspired. Enlightened. Humbled and refreshed.
That doesn’t usually happen with this sort of book. In fact, it’s pretty dog-gone rare. So you can connect the rest of the dots yourself. And yes, Mom. I forgive you for forgetting that bag of doggie chow. Especially since you went traipsing back to the store to get more, and a doggie treat, too! Arf! Arf!
Our Rating: 4.5