It’s not a typo, it’s a thesis statement. From my perspective, it’s a bit of a stretch to call ourselves United. We, the people of this great country, no longer share a national identity as Americans. We have become our own worst enemy and if we keep going the way we are now, we will soon become The Untied States of America.
I live in Johnson County, Kansas. Three weeks ago, a man shot and killed three people at the Jewish Community Center that is less than 15 minutes from my house. He went there to demonstrate his hatred for Jewish people and ended up killing three people who were not Jewish. This is what happens when we are not united. Hatred, prejudice and fear wreak havoc on us every time we choose selfishness over compassion.
And I’m talking about all of us. In a democracy, we all take our share of responsibility for the world we live in. If we want a better world, each of us has to ask ourselves what we would be willing to do to make it better. If we want a brighter future for our children, we have to act accordingly. If we want to end hatred and the violence that follows in its wake, we have to find it in our hearts to be compassionate with everyone. We don’t get to pick favorites, that’s not what United means.
I love America. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but we have to find a way to unite us again. The ties that bind us together as Americans have always been stronger than our differences. We, the people, created a Constitution that outlines the way we must act as individual citizens and collectively as a representative government. We, the people, ratified this document on a state by state basis to insure each state’s right to self-government. We, the people, vote on a regular basis to keep the democratic process alive. We, the people, pay taxes to pay for the common good that is derived from self-government. We, the people, volunteer to fight and die if necessary to defend our country. We, the people, help each other when disaster strikes here and abroad. We, the people, are the United States of America, not Washington, D.C.
I don’t have a definitive answer that will show us the way back to our roots but I do know this much; compassion is the only cure for hatred, cooperation is the only cure for dysfunctional government and courage is the only cure for fear. Our democracy is the greatest treasure any of us will ever possess. Whatever it takes to keep America alive is worth any price.
I think Thomas Paine expressed it most eloquently when he said this about America, “It is not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.” All it takes is compassion, cooperation and courage and we will be united once more.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.