Someone says we need to make America great again.
America has never stopped being great. But we can always make it greater.
The real question which needs to be answered is who is going to make it happen?
America in 2016 is torn, angry, frustrated, partisan, and divided, fueled in great part by the train wreck of this year’s presidential elections. Many have profited politically from perpetuating a culture of “Us vs Them”, where being offended has become some sort of birthright and there’s always someone to blame for your unhappiness. Not that long ago America had room for compromise and intelligent rational conversations but now working together with those with differing view points has been reframed as a sign of weakness, especially if you’re a politician.
Society can often recognize when things are broken, but we then get hung up on who is responsible for fixing it. We point fingers then sit back waiting for the politicians and the government to somehow set us on the right course, entrusting those who’ve created much of the problems to somehow find the solutions for them.
Consistent low voter turnout indicates that collectively we citizens have become mere consumers of our democracy, relegating ourselves to the sidelines, quick to point out what we feel is wrong then doing nothing to help make it right.
Do you think maybe that’s part of the problem?
Gandhi said to be the change you want to see in the world. He didn’t say to angrily point out what’s wrong, post it on social media, and then do nothing to actually try and make things better.
WHERE IS THE LOVE?: The negative and hostile energies stemming from this election have detracted from two characteristics which have long been hallmarks of America’s greatness…
Love and compassion.
In post-recession America there is a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty in our rapidly-changing world, more so than I’ve ever seen in my half-century on this earth. It’s hard to offer love and compassion to the world when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder wondering if the other shoe is about to drop. Fear and uncertainty make it just as difficult to even offer love and compassion towards yourself.
We need to move beyond this darkness and forward toward the light, even if we are the only source of light available.
ONE NATION Right now there is something each of us can do to make our piece of America a little better. There are actionable opportunities in every community to serve and uplift, to build and inspire, to actively share the love and compassion which I know still exist in our nation. There are those who are stuck and those who’ve been left behind who need our love and support and not our judgment. There are those who’ve been left out who are equally worthy to be included in the Great American family, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, orientation, or gender identification. We need to make sure all know they are welcomed.
This is the America I want to work for. And it all starts with me being more loving and compassionate in my thoughts and especially in my actions, assuming my share of the responsibility in creating the world I wish to live in, and not simply waiting for others to fix what’s broken.
I’m tired of waiting.
I hope you are, too.
Love and compassion won’t fix everything.
But it’s certainly a great place for us to start.
It’s a great day to be you!