I’ve never been to a political convention before — a new friend offered me a guest pass to this current democratic convention in denver, and I quickly said yes. I’ve often watched them on tv, with great interest…I even like the roll calls, with each state proclaiming its glory, “The commonwealth of Massachusetts, home of Gardner, chair capitol of the world…” I’ve enjoyed that note of belonging, of pride, even while recognizing it can go in many directions: it can be divisive, caught in the vanity of “us” and “them”, the path of separation and the tragedy of creating and then disdaining the “other.” Or perhaps we can have that pride yet hold it lightly, and not get caught up in labels and designations as our core identity. Perhaps we can move away from tribalism and egoism and hatred of the “other” through practicing inclusion and empathy and paying attention to all. It will be a very interesting few days.