The world has become such a fast place, there is so much going on in so many different areas of life – some of it wonderful, exhilarating, rewarding but far too much of it terrifying and tragic. I find myself spending too many hours observing, musing and wondering what has become of us as people. There has always been horror in the human world, but after many thousands of years of evolution, revolution and development, shouldn’t we be better humans now than we used to be? And yet look at the definition of humanity: why do we routinely see exactly the opposite of the second component? Why are we not what we’re meant to be? Surely we are influenced by the media – we see and hear what others want us to absorb. Regardless however of the perspective applied to events, the events themselves – and however you or I interpret them, with or without influence – unfortunately do occur.
Particularly disturbing to me is the much publicized and promoted backlash to the monstrous acts headlining the news. I have always been proud of my US citizenship, subscribing strongly to the ideals and ideologies of the American Dream. The very beginning of our country as an independent state is affirmed by the Declaration of Independence,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
and then furthered through our Consitution:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
These cornerstones of who we are – as a nation, as a people – build the basis for my loyalty and belief in the dignity of the USA. Yet now I’m confronted with thousands of comments from fellow Americans, some of them in positions of influence and authority, which completely undermine my understanding of what we are about.
Note the words I’ve put in bold text. We are supposed to be about freedom, equality, tolerance, justice, respect, and the opportunity for each and every one of us to secure a prosperous and happy life. The latter of which requires upholding my first five stated elements! Indeed, there can hardly be a prosperous and happy life without freedom, equality, tolerance and justice. How can I be happy when surrounded by oppression, destitution and persecution? How should we prosper in an unjust and prejudiced environment? How can we hope for general welfare and security without tolerating and accepting each persons’ right to his own set of beliefs?
We have the capability and the choice to make the world a place of beauty. Certainly there is much beauty already today – but clearly not enough. As global citizens, and as human beings, we can unite to turn the tide from acts against one another towards behavior of helping one another. So whatever you do today, do it in a way that confirms humanity and advocates goodness. Be compassionate. Show brotherly love. Exhibit benevolence. Demonstrate sympathy and tolerance.