I have a daughter who participates in marathons frequently. She has run in at least three separate states in the last decade. Being fat and lazy myself, I don't get it. But I do know there is a kind of joy she experiences when she participates in one of these events — a joy she shares with her fellow runners. While for some the race is competitive, for most it is not. For most, the joy is communal, an exhilaration shared not only with other runners but with friends and family members along the way.

Communal joy is becoming an increasingly rare thing in our polarized world but it lifts me up wherever I see it. The notion that someone's politics would lead them to disrupt these community celebrations, although disheartening, should inspire us all to multiply such events and overwhelm violent action with a deep love and appreciation for our American community. We need more marathons, more community markets and fairs. We should come together often on our field of dreams. In the days to come, we should commit ourselves to community and dedicate our politics to the great injunction to love of our neighbors and not just ourselves.

Douglas Donaldson