President-elect Joe Biden’s acceptance speech used language to unite this country. We each can hone our #ListenFirst skills and use the same unifying communication to strengthen and expand our communities.
Biden started with a pledge to unify:
I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but to unify.
Who doesn’t see red and blue states, but a United States.
And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.
For that is what America is about: the people.
Midway through the speech, he acknowledged all of the people from so many walks of life that supported him and then he acknowledged those who did not support him and he called for cooperation:
And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance.
To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.
The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make. And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.
Biden concluded with the benefits of being unified:
This is a great nation. And we are a good people. This is the United States of America. And there has never been anything we haven’t been able to do when we’ve done it together.
This intentional language of unification is an example we can all follow. We too can set the intention of communicating with inclusive language. We too can acknowledge and show respect to both those who agree with us and those who do not. We too can gently point out to those around us that we all have a choice to cooperate. We too can remind ourselves and others that we all are stronger and more content when we are unified as a community and as a country.