O wanted to hear your thoughts on the state of our union, so we posted a survey on Oprah.com to ask about your most passionate views and pressing concerns. More than 1,300 people responded—liberals, conservatives, and independents alike—and unsurprisingly, they had a wide range of opinions. (We'll be sharing more results in future issues.) But they were remarkably unified in their longing for the days when we could at least agree to disagree.

We asked, "What is your biggest concern for the future?" Many of you cited terrorism, economic security, and the environment, but the largest group chose "the political divide/partisanship."

"I want to understand why some people feel as they do, but often when I ask for more information, I'm shut down with name-calling or blocked."
—Patricia Nelson, Charlotte, North Carolina

"I flat-out won't share who I voted for in the last presidential election because people clump me in with the worst offenders. I find this painful because there's been a big and necessary battle over gender, sexuality, and immigration issues, but I feel the unforgiving vitriol coming more from people on the ground than the politicians who get accused of spewing it."
—Sarah Harris, Los Angeles

"Both Democrats and Republicans sit in their little echo chambers with their fingers in their ears, while those in the middle—independents and other parties—are silenced. Our national dialogue has devolved into Facebook memes and one-liners. Meanwhile, it seems the majority of Americans are sick to death of both parties."
—Amy Roberts, Fort Collins, Colorado

"There's no discussion. It's a ‘my way or the highway' mentality."
—Carol Todd, Coos Bay, Oregon

"When I start tensing up, I take a breath and pull myself back, knowing that ‘the universe is running on time' and everything is exactly as it should be. I bless the person and remember we're all one, regardless of the illusion of division. I believe this is how we effect change."
—Emery Chapman, Newcastle, Maine


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