One simple word can make all the difference.

AND.

By definition, “and” is a conjunction which ties together two words, clauses or concepts that are intended to be taken together. For example, “love AND marriage,” “bread AND butter,” “fear and loathing.”

Today’s society seems to have forgotten that two constructs can be held together at the same time. We have become a society of OR, not AND.

Believe like I do, OR you are wrong.

Behave like I expect you to, OR I will cancel you.

Look like I do, OR you are less than.

We need more “AND” in our world.

Seemingly disparate ideas can co-exist. They should co-exist.

With more AND, we can more readily accept that a perfect ______ (fill in the blank) is not promised while simultaneously recognizing the good that exists. When OR is the driving force, we are more likely to rage, quit or leave rather than attempt to make ______ (fill in the blank) better.

For example, no institution or organization can be perfect in every way, but it can be imperfect AND amazing. An organizational strategy or initiative can be extraordinary AND simple. A marriage can be stressed AND loving. I can disagree with you AND be civil. I can be angry AND self-controlled. Learning can be uncomfortable AND worthwhile.

A space where this co-existence is desperately needed is in the way we teach and love others. Truth AND grace are both needed. Without grace, truth can be judgmental. Without truth, values can be compromised. Truth AND grace are better together.

AND make us all better together. AND makes all the difference.

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