We're living in what is one of the most divisive times in our country's history; and staying divided is extremely easy. People jump into their favorite online echo-chamber where opposing voices are silenced and censored. They tune into one of many news networks that tell them their way is the right way (and anyone who thinks differently is categorically wrong). I think it's fair to say that one specific ideology has infiltrated the majority of our schools, pop-culture, the news, and social media.
So how do we have our voices heard? First and foremost we must stick together and keep the conversation going.
Far too often we are so intent on proving our point that we forget other points of view might have merit as well or (as is often the case) many points of view have been modeled by the false or misleading stimulus mentioned above.
Most of us have a strongly held belief system. Through dialog we can try to find common ground where we can foster a more collaborative and effective relationship. Migrating from an orthodoxy where we talk “at” or “over” each other to one where we talk “with” each other is an effective starting point. As John Wooden taught, “Listen if you want to be heard.”
Likely the most difficult conversations will be with those who we deeply love and care about. Our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews who have been taught a dangerous mix of fear and hate by sociocultural and educational systems that have brainwashed their vulnerable minds. Too many have been duped into believing the worst about their country and their fellow citizens. They are taught to divide rather than to unify. Fear fuels much of this indoctrination and can lead to these young people employing an “ends justifies the means” mentality without realizing they are embracing very behaviors they claim to find so objectionable. The many protests turned riots in recent years are an example of this.
When those we care about allow their emotions to take over their rational minds; when they yell or accuse us of being something we’re not, we must do our best to be patient and remember the spin-doctors in academia and the media advance these messages of division. They have been attempting to divide us along religious, racial, and cultural lines for decades, and recently have advanced that narrative to include everything from covid vaccination status, the use of masks, and even the bathroom we use.
It breaks my heart when I see things like this video from January of young women at the University of Kentucky dancing to celebrate abortion and literally saying “I promise I'd kill my baby if I got pregnant.” or this video from 2017 of a professor smashing someone with a bike lock because they have a different viewpoint. These are two clear examples of individuals who have been completely brainwashed, and unfortunately there are countless others.
With all this tumult we must not give up on those around us, especially those we love - you never know what small piece of honest and open dialogue will have a lasting impact and help them.
“A house divided cannot stand.” a phrase Abraham Lincoln borrowed from the Bible, has never been truer than it is today. We are teetering on a dangerous tipping point.
To quote another great man, Martin Luther King wisely counseled, “I’ve decided to stick with Love. Hate is a far too heavy burden to bear.
History is an impeccable teacher, and these two historical giants offer us sage advice in these challenging times. The United States is stronger when we stand “United”. The family unit is the foundation of community which leads to a stronger America. Weakened families lead to weakened communities that in turn lead to a weakened country. And a weaker America means a more dangerous world.
We must not allow celebrities, the media, and our political class to push us down by manipulating or hiding the truth. We must communicate with respect and compassion, so we can succinctly call out these mistruths for what they are: divisive Hate Speech. My heart aches for leaders akin to Dr. King and President Lincoln, alas they appear so distant in this age…
Allow me to end on a positive note, however. There is hope. We’ve seen example after example of our fellow citizens rising up to have their voices heard. We see it at school board meetings across the country, on the streets of the US and Canada, and at the ballot box. All peaceful and impactful platforms to have our voice heard.
Let’s commit to using our voices to help this great country. There’s no doubt that America has been hijacked, but we can and will overcome - with one voice, one values system, and every precious vote.