The gathering at the Methodist church on Jan. 31 offered a forum where ideas could be exchanged and a discussion could take place about confronting an uncertain future where what is normal is slipping away.

Fifty of us sat in a circle, each in turn expressing our thoughts. One person brought up the word “silence.” In the frenetic babble of today’s technological world “silence” is rare. Yet it’s the place we need to go to reflect and to fuel the imagination.

One gal talked about her determination to keep a hopeful and positive attitude and not succumb to cynicism. A man commented that to him the “truth” is important.

Thinking about the conversation later in the comfort of my home, I came to the conclusion there are four working principles that humans require: freedom, justice, opportunity and security. Freedom, to go where we want and do what we want; justice, to know there are laws and those who harm others will be restrained; opportunity which includes education and viable employment; and security, no bombs dropping and gang shootings and there needs to be accessible healthcare.

These needs are universal regardless of religion, politics, race, ethnicity or sex.

This realization doesn’t make the evil in the world go away but it is important to reflect on where we are, that the greater number of people in the world share our values and would like to live in peace.

Yvonne Nyenhuis,