I had an epiphany on a recent trip in Butler County, where, on a nicely kept lawn in front of a modest, well-kept house, was a small flock of chickens.
As I drove on, I got to musing over the kind of person who owned those chickens. Was he a Republican or a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative?
Those chickens could have been raised by a tree-hugging, environmentalist wing nut who bleeds green and is seeking to save the world from the overuse of pesticides, artificial fertilizer, industrial farming and the cruelty of the poultry industry.
On the other hand, they could have been being raised by a Fox News-loving, Obama-hating, LaPierre-worshipping, conservative wing nut who has a basement full of guns and wants to be self-sustaining.
The epiphany is this: If you can take those two groups of folks, the wing-nut liberal chicken farmers and the wing-nut conservative chicken farmers, who, by all accounts, have nothing in common, I bet they could have a pretty good dinner conversation about every aspect of chickens and the merits of chicken manure as a good nitrogen source for gardening.
If that can happen with chickens, maybe it can happen with the real problems we are faced with in this country and in this state.
If we could all, politicians and average Joes, look at each other simply as fellow citizens and put away our labels and agendas, we may be able to start each encounter on common ground and end up having a pretty good dinner conversation ourselves.