Amid months of tension in the United States, Dolly Parton is counting on the holiday season to help people reconcile their differences. Speaking to Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY, the country icon shared her philosophy on the situation, calling on the holiday spirit to inspire healing.
"I think we've just become so divided, 'cause people just seem to love to hate. You know? This is the Christmas season coming up. But we need to carry that Christmas spirit of peace on Earth, and loving one another. We need to carry that into the new year," Parton said. "And Lord knows, I hope next year is better than this one."
"We can't save the world, but we can save the world we're living in," she continued. "Maybe I'm dreaming. But I don't think so." Parton added that spreading positivity is the most important part of her job.
"It ain't about the money. I've often said that I count my blessings a lot more often than I count my money," she said. "I just want to be able to lift up people if I can, and do something, put some joy out there."
Earlier this year, the 74-year-old reflected on the state of the nation when she shared her support for the Black Lives Matter movement while speaking with Billboard, pointing out that judging others is not part of the Christian faith.
"I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she said. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white a—es are the only ones that matter? No!"
"First of all, I'm not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge," she added. "All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves."
She also discussed the decision to rename her Dixie Stampede attraction at Dollywood theme park, which was made in 2018. The attraction was renamed to The Stampede, and Parton shared that the reason was simple.
"There's such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that," she said. "When they said 'Dixie' was an offensive word, I thought, 'Well, I don't want to offend anybody. This is a business. We'll just call it The Stampede.' As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don't be a dumba—. That's where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose."