American Challenge

darkest moments

Anyone who seriously considers the current state of affairs in America should realize that we are in crisis. In the balance lies the soul of America. I have met quite a few people who feel so overwhelmed by the barrage of lies, distortions and false claims that they have stopped watching, reading and listening to the news and opinions from all quarters. They would rather concentrate on living a peaceful life just for today. I can’t blame them.

But what is happening to us in the meantime? Our country is still beset by systematic dismantling of our government structures developed over many years to protect our society. Fear is fanned to frighten groups with varying interests into attacking each other. We are warned to distrust and exclude the flow of immigrants who made us the country we are. Our country has been framed as an economic venture with money the only concern. We are seen by the current administration as a society which can suddenly withdraw from our place in the world community and thrive in isolation. We are encouraged to relive the Wild West where violence with assault weapons speaks for us rather than conversation.

I agree that these are not pleasant prospects. But ignoring them can only lead to decay and decline of the society which most of us have come to love and for which so many of our citizens and their families have sacrificed so much. We can appreciate that, other than Native Americans, the rest of us came from other countries. If we look back far enough, we can see that even the Native Americans made their way across the land bridge connecting what is now Russia with what is now Alaska.

We all came from somewhere else or have ancestors who did. Our new homeland has extensive resources bestowing on us almost countless benefits. Although we consist of many societies and ways of thinking, we are all the same in several ways. We would like to do more than survive. We would like to improve our lives or preserve what has been left to us. We would like our children to grow up in a world which provides them the opportunities we had or wished we had.

We live in an electronic world which replaces personal communication with truncated communication through various devices leaving out much of what we feel about ourselves and each other. We also live in a world of extensive natural resources. Some of us would like to use these resources without consideration of caring for our natural home and what would keep it healthy. Others realize that we are called upon to be caretakers of our environment.

Our challenge is to set aside fear of each other, selfishness about our own needs and desires, ignoring the needs of our neighbors, disregard for the wellbeing of our environment. We also need to avoid working in the interest of our nation while disregarding that of other nations and peoples. We need to again see ourselves as part of the world community. We can’t wait for someone else to make these changes for us. They are the responsibility of each of us. You pass or meet many people each day. Try imagining what they want in their lives. When you are ready, hopefully soon, try asking them about their aspirations and sharing your own.

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