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The Powerful Stories That Bring Us Together

How people overcome differences and reach common ground

Gracie and Edward in the woods
Credit: Katye Martens Brier

Even on these cold January days, my golden retriever Gracie and I bundle up—or at least I do—and find a trail that isn’t too deep in snow or too icy to get a good strong hike in. We do it for the exercise certainly. We’ve lost a combined 47 pounds these 10 pandemic months on these trails, as I think I’ve mentioned. It’s more than exercise, though. I do my best thinking out in the woods (I can’t speak for Gracie). 

Today I got in a lot of thinking. It could have been the windless silence, or the low winter sun glancing off the fresh snow. In the wake of the shocking violence in Washington, I thought about Guideposts magazine and how, at Guideposts, we believe that everything is possible with faith, hope and prayer, even overcoming the profound and historic challenges of a deeply divided nation. 

Guideposts has never been about politics. We don’t do controversy. There are plenty of places where folks can find that, maybe too many. Guideposts tells stories of hope and inspiration that relate to our readers’ everyday lives, what we’ve done for more than 75 years and what I’ve done in one role or another for 35. 

Even in these past few difficult years, our differences seemingly insurmountable, our readers have shared stories that inspire and uplift, that celebrate a diversity of views. You might remember an article co-authored by a pastor and an imam, whose congregations shared a parking lot, and how they came to learn about and respect each other’s devotion to faith; or another where an environmentalist and a logging executive discover that they have more in common than not. 

In our February issue, we feature a cover story by the pastor of a diverse church. He describes how his congregation deals with social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, even though they don’t all agree on these issues. They do not necessarily seek to change each other’s mind but to honor their shared humanity and reach common ground. 

These stories are not about agreeing to disagree. That would risk trivializing the problems we face. We called our February story Our Common Ground. We are seeking more uplifting pieces from people overcoming differences within their churches, their neighborhoods and even their families.

We hope to help bring people together, to love more and hate less, as we have since Dr. Peale and his wife, Ruth, founded the magazine. So please let me know what you think at egrinnan@guideposts.org.


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