Watching the dialogue between politicians is one thing, I expect them to do or say whatever serves their political end game. They have only one goal and lack any true principles or deep rooted moral code. What disturbs me is the discourse between ordinary citizens. It seems that we have become as corrupted by the dogma as the politicians who spew it.
We have grown divided as a nation and separated into neat and concise voting blocks. We have Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, gay and straight. There are more to be sure but the idea is that we are all Americans not voting blocks. We give away our power when we become individuals or small groups. We turn our power over to those who claim to represent us.
We need to find ourselves and discover our common history as a country. We need to accept other cultures freely and ask only that they assimilate into our culture. For some reason assimilation has become synonymous with being a homogeneous society. That is not the case at all. When we assimilate we become part of the whole, we take pride in that community in which we belong. We are still quite distinctly ourselves but just as completely part of something larger.
We need to know our neighbors and they should be our friends. We should watch out for one another and lend a hand when it is needed and wanted. As a long time Police Officer I have seen neighbors become enemies over something as insignificant as “his dog crapped in my yard”. I have seen neighbors stand-by as the house next door was burglarized and not even bother to call the police.
True story, I live in the community that employees me as an officer. For 12 plus years I have kept a marked patrol car in my yard. A few months back we had a string of burglaries throughout the city. One of my neighbors’ houses borders my back yard. That house was burglarized. The officer working the burglary conducted a canvas of the area to see if there were any witnesses. The neighbor directly south of my house watched the burglars drag a bed sheet loaded with stolen property across my back yard, through my side yard to a waiting getaway van. I was home at the time and they knew I was a local police officer. They did nothing. In fact had the officer not canvassed the area we would have never had known that they witnessed the burglary.
I relay that anecdote to point out how indifferent we have become to even those who live right next door to us. Healing this nation and rebuilding her once great stature does not start in Washington D.C. It starts in our homes, our neighborhoods and our cities. Until we can come together as a community we will never come together as a nation. We need to understand that each individual’s uniqueness is what makes us so strong as a whole.