If the U.S. 2016 presidential election cycle, and the recent media storm regarding racism in Charlottesville and elsewhere have taught us anything as a nation, it’s this. We as Americans no longer see ourselves as humans first; but rather we see ourselves as hyphenated Americans with social group labels such as Conservative, Liberal, Democrat, Republican, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indigenous/Native, White, Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc.
The clear downside to this incessant categorization is that it accentuates our differences instead of reminding us of our common human heritage, our common needs to live, and the common good from which we could all benefit. Family members and life-long friends have parted company in recent years due to the terrible anger and uncompromising attitudes prevalent throughout much of modern America. I believe we are capable and deserving of so much better of ourselves, and from others.
More than enough has been said recently to divide us as a nation and as a world. The 24/7 media appears quite complicit with multinational corporate leaders, and the major government leaders who perpetually hide behind the proverbial curtain pulling the strings of the puppet leaders whom we are told to either love or hate depending upon one’s media sources. There seems to be no in between anymore, no sensible path of moderation, and it’s this “guidance and legislation” by extremes that furthers the longstanding notion of nothing substantial for the common good is getting done anymore in Washington DC. Each time the legislative and executive tides turn, those running the show waste considerable time and taxpayer money attempting to undo the previous administration’s “accomplishments”.
It has been said in the past that, “a nation divided cannot stand”, also others have said, “united we stand, and divided we fall”. It’s obvious with so much divisive media reporting, that in 2017, we are no longer the United States of America, but rather we’re fast becoming the Divided States of America either on final approach or already standing at the brink of another civil war.
As a nation, we face a crossroads of extreme uncertainty, which gives rise to all of us the opportunity to become a part of something greater, to remember that we are all human, and that we need to remember we are Human-Americans first. However, we must choose to listen to one another, instead of preparing harsh retorts while ones with whom we disagree speak their minds. If both sides continue to “communicate” in such an incomplete fashion, nothing positive will likely ever result. If we choose to remain ignorant of what others with opposing views have to say, we won’t learn or grow to a greater and higher understanding of all that’s possible for us all together. Remember we have greater strength together united as a nation and as a species. We all have something to teach and something to learn from one another. All voices are needed in the chorus of humanity. For to lose any one individual voice diminishes the whole of what we as a species can truly become.
In today’s well-connected world, we have a golden-opportunity to create Heaven on Earth for everyone, but that means we all must relearn the kindergarten lessons of speaking when it’s our turn, sincerely listening as others speak their minds, sharing, giving, and receiving with one another.
As humans we must grow up and start acting like adults, primarily by learning how to get along better with one other, or as a species we will go the way of the dinosaurs, and dodos; and sadly- we could take much of the rest of Earth’s higher life forms down into extinction with us. So, we can either remain divided along religious, political, economic, racial, and ethnic lines; or we can come together by rising above our differences, learning to move forward together toward a brighter future for all of humankind.
The Choice is ours, and I pray that we choose wisely.
[Addendum: September 2017] Fortunately, it would seem that in the midst of adversity like the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey these past few weeks, and now Irma, many people are now responding once again to the “angels of their better nature”. This is an encouraging sign of hope, supporting a much more positive potential future for our species. Let’s continue to seek, foster, and develop these wonderful characteristics in everyone!