During this long ‘Summer of our discontent’, a nation divided is experiencing near crippling dysfunction. Loud and thoughtless rhetoric fills the airways, infecting the minds and hearts of countless Americans. From our televisions to our coffee shops, there is eyeball rolling, finger pointing, and increased suspicion toward those who are not of a “chosen” ancestry.
Far too often divisiveness overrules reasonable thought and action. A shocking number of comments are of how wrong, how lazy, how criminal (etc.) others are; based not on their individual actions, but as members of a particular race, religion, or ethnicity. It is scary enough when these irrational thoughts and comments are in the minds, on the lips, and in the hearts of the relatively powerless and least influential. The scenario quickly accelerates from scary to frightening when the call for irrational behavior becomes the calling card of the rich, the powerful, the well connected; particularly when they aspire to lead and teach others.
History teaches us hard lessons that beg not to be ignored. When we ignore those lessons, history repeats itself in some form or fashion. The isolationism of 15th Century China did not work. The policies of the Ming Dynasty eventually fell to economic reality, as those who once hid from the world now advertise to the world. The theory of Hitler’s “Super Race”, severely crippled at the 1936 Olympics and since destroyed, did not work. The Berlin Wall, climbed over and broken through thousands of times, did not work. How many times and in how many ways must the message be signed, sealed and delivered? We are much better off standing on the common ground of tolerance and mutual respect, than sinking in the quicksand of division, discourse and destruction. People sitting in Ivory Towers, looking down their noses at the economically disadvantaged, fail to understand structural integrity. If the foundation becomes too flawed, cracked and weakened, then down comes the Tower.
I recently asked ”If someone had built a Wall between the U.S. and Mexico prior to Hurricane Katrina, how would the Mexican Navy have aided U.S. Relief Efforts?” I later ran across an article in the Washington Post that addresses the high cost of isolationism. The article was written by Stephen Kelly, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Mexico from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Kelly teaches at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
The Cry “we want our country back” begs me to ask the question; Who should get it back, the Indian, driven from most of their land and into near extinction, or descendants of the slaves who provided 4.1 Trillion Dollars of forced free labor to help build this nation?
Hopefully, we can find common ground if we commit ourselves to building bridges instead of walls, and supporting those who do likewise, for; “If my people who are called by my name . . . “ 2 Chronicles 7:14
This is the Cover Article for VISIONS Newsletter Aug-Sep 2016. To read the entire newsletter please visit https://successisyou.wordpress.com/visions-newsletter/