Embracing Our Differences
I’m not a big poster of things on Facebook although occasionally I will put a Hometown View segment there for others to view. However Monday I was thinking about how divided it seems our country has become and I wrote a simple statement about something my father told me many years ago that seems to make more sense now than it did then.
“Our biggest enemy is not those who live in foreign countries but us. The hatred we often show for one another is what will eventually take us down.” I’m paraphrasing a bit from when he said but you get the point and a lot of others agreed.
It appears to me we are headed for some type of Civil War although frankly I don’t know what the sides will be. I guess this is front and center because of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Of course politics always caused some separation among us but it just seems that now there is more to it.
No longer is their healthy dialogue about the issues but venom-spewed rhetoric that finds everyone being labeled from their religion to their tax bracket. The problem that exists is the hostility shown by those with opposite beliefs and remember we’re talking about American citizens. We rip one another because of different viewpoints on issues. It’s almost like you should be defined by how you feel on abortion, gay rights, religion, national defense, the environment, tax cuts. You name it and if another person feels differently then it’s like they are ready to go to war against you. Maybe we should wear tags that don’t identify us by name but rather the sides we take on all the big issues.
There was a time when we embraced our differences and believed that was what made us so great but we have gone way past the time when Italians and Irish could live and thrive in a neighborhood. At least they had a common goal: to better themselves and their families. Today though the goal is to make someone feel the same way you do and if they don’t, shame on them. It just seems we are on some kind of collision course that will result in a different kind of Civil War but one that can’t end well.
Is it not ironic that the only time we put aside our differences is during times of tragedy. Think back to 9/11 and how we pulled together as Americans and showed our pride in the stars and stripes, a feeling that would eventually go away for most of us. Is that what it takes for us to realize that we live in the United States, not the Divided States?