Richmond Times-Dispatch

Praying for Trumpmight make everyone else calmer

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

Mymother made and enforced the majority of the rules at our house. That was fine with Dad, except for the occasional note such as, “If you borrow one ofmytools, put it back.” Then there were his occasional words to live by: “We have four civic duties: paying taxes, voting, serving on a jury and giving blood.” Otherwise, Momwas lawmaker and enforcer.

When I was in high school, I don’t remember what happened, but twice in one week, Dad said, “Don’t pity people. It doesn’t help them and it makes you feel superior.” “OK,” I thought, mystified. “No pity policy.”

Recently, I have broken that rule. I pity President Donald Trump. I can’t help it. I can’t imaginewha­t it’s like to live in his cacophonou­s head (or his household), and his self-absorption defies comprehens­ion.

Dad was right; my pity does Trump absolutely no good. Therefore, I decided to follow the lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has the habit of praying for our president. I had prayed for Trump before, but nothing I’m proud of. This time was more genuine and, hopefully, more Christian. I asked God to calm his churning mind, heal his too-small heart and enlarge his myopic vision to include some of those other 326.7 million people in the United Stateswho are not him.

I don’t think it’s changing Trump, but I’m a little calmer. What if thousands of people in the U.S. prayed daily that our president would calm down, learn compassion and realize he is not the only person of consequenc­e in the world? What a difference that could make.

Then, if we could follow President-elect Joe Biden’s example of not dignifying Trump’s brattish behavior—“You won’t come to the inaugurati­on? Oh, OK.”— 2021 truly could be a whole new ballgame, no pity required, Dad’s rule intact.

ELAINE LIDHOLM.

RICHMOND.

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