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Nation & World

The Call-In: Civil Discourse

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Before the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, we had asked our listeners to call in and tell us where they find connection at this moment when the nation is so very divided. Many of the responses we got were a reminder of how difficult that connection is defined right now. Some of you wrote that you longed for those kinds of places but that these days, common ground is hard to find. But there were a few bright spots.

HEATHER OGILVIE: Every week, I have regularly scheduled conversations with seniors. We call it book club.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Heather Ogilvie is an outreach librarian at the Bay County Public Library in Panama City, Fla. She says they talk about everything and anything, including politics. At one assisted living facility, the club is especially diverse - deeply conservative Floridians, liberal New Englanders, transplants from Europe.

OGILVIE: In this group, where we are all so happy to see one another and so eager to talk, we will soldier on through any topic that comes up. We have some heated moments, but we start as friends. And we close just in time to wander together to the dining room for lunch.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Many people called in and cited houses of worship as places where they find common ground and a feeling of community. We are thinking today of the Tree of Life synagogue and the community of Squirrel Hill. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.