We are a nation divided. Split– along racial lines, gender lines, class lines, sexual orientation lines, political party affiliation lines, generational lines and moral lines. In the closely contested presidential race of 2012, regardless of who won, we knew there were going to be bitter, angry people on the other side. And now that the election is over, it is time for us to move forward as a nation unless we want to perish as a nation. We are fractured. We are broken. But we are not beyond healing. For us to move forward we must stand in the shoes of those we oppose.
We must push past what we believe to be true, to understand there is not only one Truth, but many Truths. Though America is the land of many opportunities it is not the land of equal opportunity. The perks of privilege do pay, and give some of us a hand up. And though it may be difficult for some to get ahead, it is not impossible. We must understand that the fruition of dreams can happen to the least of us if it’s what we really want and are willing to work to get it.
We must understand that issues are not stark lines of black or white, but muddied shades of grey. Who are we to impose our beliefs and values on others? Is there a way for us to get along even when we don’t agree? We need to recognize that differences make us unlike, not better or worse. We need to understand that beneath those differences we still share basic human needs. We need to work, to have health insurance, to get an education and to enjoy our lives.
We are not White Vs People of Color, Men Vs. Women, Rich Vs the Middle Class Vs the Poor, Straight Vs Gay, Democrats Vs. Republicans, Elders Vs Youth and any other superficial lines of division. We are the sum of our parts – not the parts. We must understand that no group is going to get everything that they want. We must compromise. We are split, and that which is split eventually breaks into. Is that what we want?
The next four years are going to require the work of all us to begin to repair the damage done over the years. America is changing. What will you do to gain a better understanding of those you think are different from you? The Divided States of America needs to truly become the United States of America. What are you going to do in your corner of the world to make that happen?