This week I saw something that I wasn’t sure I would ever see again. It was something that filled me with a renewed sense of hope and reminded me that the seemingly impossible is possible. I saw Americans cross party lines and stand united. For the sake of full disclosure I must confess that this unity occurred over shared opinions about Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement but still! Unity! In America!
Since I’m disclosing things, I’ll also disclose that a year ago I found myself wondering why people were more worried about the Kardashians than the orphan crisis. Why the color of a dress got more attention than tsunamis that killed thousands. I felt like we, as Americans, were missing the big picture. We were so involved with things that didn’t matter that we were missing the things that really did. We were missing our opportunities to make our voices heard on important issues and truly making a difference because we were too busy keeping up with the latest celebrity news. Then something happened. Suddenly a switch was flipped and social media was filled with issues that mattered and people using their voices and demanding to be heard. After a few months (okay, a few days) of this I was begging for a dress to debate, a celebrity pregnancy announcement, anything that would make things cheery again. I think that’s really where my quest to find joy even in the chaos began. I needed to be reminded of the good in the world and I thought that maybe I wasn’t alone in that. I briefly considered a campaign to “Make Facebook Great Again”.
I love America. I come from a family of people who have served in our military and I know several families who have lost a loved one in war. I like to think that I’m about as patriotic as they come. I love that we live in a country where we can embrace our differences and we are a true “melting pot”. However, when I look around today, I don’t see the America that is embracing differences. I see an America where the people are tearing each other apart and someone is asking to be attacked simply for having a difference of opinion. That isn’t what America is about. Its not.
One of the (many) beautiful things about America is that we have rights– a privilege that is often overlooked. We have the freedom of speech and we are certainly all entitled to our own opinion. What we aren’t entitled to is persecuting others for theirs. Another freedom? Freedom of religion. I realize that you may not believe what I believe but all I’m going to say is that I feel like this country would be a whole lot greater if we all took a page from Jesus’ book: love thy neighbor. That Jesus. He gets it.