The chorus of the Union…

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

– Abraham Lincoln

First inaugural address | Abraham Lincoln

True friendship demands accepting someone with all their faults and weaknesses as well as their virtues and strengths. Beyond our close relationships, our relationships across physical, cultural, and psychological distance also require this kind of acceptance. Yet friendship, like any variety of love, is not easy or simple work. Even more so because we must choose to be friends, not out of feeling or convenience, but out of necessity if we believe in the possibility of a better world. So perhaps this is the task of our better angels: to help us persevere in our commitment to cultivating friendships with ourselves, each other, and the whole of humanity.