Two Letters, Two Cliffs, One Bridge

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“IDIOTS!!!! Who is going to “check” Trump when he wants to START ANOTHER WAR?! HATE WINS HERE AND THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES HAS SAID IT’S OK TO HATE!!!! F&*CK!!!!”

“It looked like a funeral on the streets of Manhattan. #It’s good to be white and male again!!!”

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The polarizing messages buzzing around us today amount to far more than disagreements about policy, and character. I understand the amped-up emotions, I share them as well, but I’m afraid we’re missing a far larger point. I’m afraid that we are starting to feel over-confident, to feel insulated from the repercussions of our un-nuanced words and actions, as if the ground we stand on will support the weight of all this vitriol. Today I can’t help but think of Syria, and about how suddenly the animus there, between the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Alawites, turned ugly, then dangerous, and then as we all know, deadly.

These people had once been good friends and neighbors, friends that ate together at each other’s tables and gone to each other’s children’s weddings, and then, in what seemed like an instant, they were at each other’s throats.

We are not immune to this horrible outcome; we need to remember that we have not been inoculated from this danger. We need also to remember that the miracle of America, (a country lest we forget, that is relatively new), is that we can, in spite of differences of race, opinion, and disposition, still come together as a nation.

America was formed, not out of a single nationality or ethnicity, but out of several who came here to seek a better life. (And having said that, we need always to remember that only our African American citizens came to this country, not of their own volition, but in chains and in blood.) Our strength any rate is derived from the contributions of us all. We need to effectively use our minds to work towards the goal of living in a strong, safe nation.

This is not trite, nor is it a cliché. It is an intention we must hold in our minds, at all times and in all situations. Who can we help? Who can we teach? Who can we, with our human powers, lift up out of challenging circumstances? And perhaps most important of all —how can I pass these values on to my children? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves now. We are of course, an imperfect nation, but we are a country that is still whole, still ascending.

I fear that our rhetoric and our rage has no good conclusion, that it has become a means for a national primal scream —and this scream echoes from all sides, from all directions. I’m sad that people fear for their safety for simply having voted their conscience. I’m sad as well, that we sometimes seem to be standing on the cliffs of an ever-widening valley.

I suggest we call out to one another once in a while, maybe build a bridge and meet somewhere in the middle.

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