The beauty of America is our diverse population. We are lucky to share freedoms that allow us to express ourselves openly. It would be a sad day in our existence if these freedoms were compromised.
However, we have developed this style of shouting each other down. Nobody is listening to each other anymore, and there is this “either or mentality.” Can’t we respect divergent viewpoints and respect our differences? Can’t we value all human lives?
For instance, many Americans have become such staunch supporters of their political party it has become more about being a Democrat or Republican than first being an American. Many newscasters who proclaim to be objective in reality have an agenda to promote a conservative or liberal stance. Some distort the facts and even cause divisiveness in America by claiming their tainted and slanted views are facts. This is a party war, and it has been aggravated by some less-than-ethical media coverage. Equally, some politicians that represent us are far from an example of an open-ended communication style. What message does this give our youth? Shout each other down? Disrespect, disregard and closing down are okay?
Then there is the argument this time of year about whether someone should say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. While it is true that our forefathers were largely Christian, we must assume there are others who do not share the Christian religion. Things change, and this is my America, your America and anyone who pledges allegiance to our Country.
I think it is important to understand though that when someone who is Christian says Merry Christmas, they are hopefully wishing the person merriment in a season that is joyful and celebrated with no offense intended to those who do not celebrate Christmas. On the other hand, if you know someone isn’t of the Christian faith, shouldn’t you honor his/her faith with a generic greeting or one specific to his/her belief system? If you insist in saying Merry Christmas to all, in my humble opinion you are guilty of imposing your faith on others and guilty of this “either or mentality.”
Last but not least, in recent months too many people have died innocently leaving their grieving and devastated families behind. There will be no peace or joy for those families during this holiday season. They will never see their loved ones again. Their lives are changed forever.
There are good cops and bad cops. There are good people and bad people of every color. Yes, there are inequities in our society. As a disabled woman, I have seen some of this firsthand. Misunderstandings. Miscommunications. Assumptions. A life should not be lost over a petty crime or because you wear a badge. All lives matter.
Collectively, we are a people who believe in liberty and justice for all. We must build up America, not tear it down. Listen, not shout each other down. Open our hearts and live by what is moral, ethical and just.
Our sense of unity and our ability to heal is what kept us going after 9/11. Cops, firemen, black and white, young and old, conservative and liberal, –one nation under God and atheists. Let’s embrace that. Let there be unity and healing in the United States of America.
I refuse to be part of this “either or mentality” that doesn’t respect all humanity. Let there be peace and unity in America, and let it begin with me.
Copyright © Mary Grace Whalen 2014. All Rights Reserved.