12/05/2012 10:56 am ET Updated Feb 04, 2013

Could the Country Please Turn More Purple?

Could the country please turn "purpler" (is that a word)? Red and blue are great colors, but so divisive. Some things I have learned that solve so many challenges and just maybe could work for our country and in turn for the world:

I cannot change other people unless they want to change. It is best accomplished by attraction rather than promotion.

We have so many conflicts in the name of our faith. That may be why the constitution calls for "separation of church and state." It would be amusing to hear what God has to say about all the churches who claim to be the only truth. As long as we sincerely try to honor the God of our own understanding, I believe God will love us in spite of ourselves.

While we're on this subject, if God created us, who are we to judge that he did it wrong by creating other people who are different from us in any way?

For those who think they have all the answers by quoting the Bible, we might all be better by remembering:

"Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "... you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (From Mark 12)

So while we're trying to change those who don't believe as we do, maybe the best thing is to do what we know is right for us, and treat those who are different from us with respect and in a loving manner and "but out" of other people's personal business. If they don't agree with our own beliefs, it is not our business -- it is God's, and we are not God. I've known some claimed atheists who treat other people in a kinder way than we often see in the "name of Christianity." We are beginning to give Christianity a bad name by our own behaviors.

Looking for solutions to problems is not the same as blame. We have lots of problems that need to be solved, but blame and disrespect only create more problems. In fact, if we could just remove "blame" from our lives for others and for ourselves, we would enjoy more respect for one another.

We all fall short and sometimes "goof up" no matter how hard we try to do it all right. That's why forgiveness needs to be an integral part of our lives. Most people are not doing things "to us." They are just doing what is important to them at the time and sometimes we get the unintended fall out. I know for sure that real forgiveness creates more joy for both the forgiven and the forgiver than any other action we could take.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to find our "purple peace" in our families, neighborhoods, states and our country?

My career required that I negotiate with people on some very important matters and what I learned is that if I try to understand the needs of the other party and find what solutions they really need, we are often able to find common ground and solve the problems for all of us.

To quote a great Christmas line, "God bless us one and all." (The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)