So it’s times like these that people in the public arena can really make a name for themselves… one way or the other. Say too much and earn an ugly moniker that may never get outgrown. Don’t say enough and miss the opportunity to “be a leader.” In the end, they’re all just words that evaporate daily like the morning dew in late August.
It’s for both of those reasons that I’ll try to stay above the specifics of recent events, tragic and unfathomable as they are.
In the larger sense I think we need to consider the impact of events like those in recent days ultimately have on this lifeboat we call the United States of America.
First- the facts:
Total square miles in the USA? 3.8 million.
Total population in the USA? 323 Million… and growing.
As a matter of fact, the Census Bureau maintains a pretty cool clock of births, deaths and immigrations into the US Right Here. I have no idea how accurate it is, and I have a feeling they don’t, either, since the baseline is the census data last gathered almost 8 years ago.
Regardless- some of their assertions are:
One birth every 8 seconds
One death every 12 seconds
One international migrant (net) every 33 seconds
Net gain of one person every 12 seconds
So… our population is growing. No surprise, right? The point? Our geography isn’t changing. We’re all in this together… living in some portion of the inhabitable 3.8 million square miles of the US. As we grow and become more diverse (key point alert) we must become more respectful of diverging opinions. Must. It’s not complicated. If we don’t, we’ll… well let’s just leave it at “must”. It’s a mathematical fact… and I’m not much of a fan of math.
So… to tie those thoughts together, we need to realize, and admit, that we all have bias. It’s a result of our maturity process, or lack thereof in some cases, and the environment(s) we have been exposed to. None of our experiences have been the same and not many would want to go back and change anything, even if we could.
Add to this thought that most people are proud of who they have become. We believe strongly in our positions, probably never more so than here in the 21st Century where we do our best to prove it, sometimes through the amazing tool of social media. The result of these times and technology tools is the potential for a serious divergence of opinion on a nationwide scale. Overnight.
So what was it about the lifeboat thing? Bottom line is that we must exist together and somehow get past the things we perceive to be ugly and vile. Offended? Disagree? Hang on, I’ll explain.
The reality is that what you perceive to be unnerving, others may view as palatable. The things that “shake your inner being” may be open and acceptable to someone else. Truth.
No matter the issue, and I’m doing my best to not get specific, someone will inevitably view it as acceptable while someone else will disagree. Is that engaging in dis-unity or creating a lack of acceptance? Only if we let it and, believe it or not, some people and even industries thrive on that dis-unity for some very selfish and short-sighted reasons.
Unity, acceptance, diversity and all of the other buzz words that get tossed around must be used for everyone, that is, if they’re going to be used for anyone.
Why is that important? Because these United States are mine AND yours. If you think it’s ok to scream “F the Police” as a form of protest, then you and I are going to disagree.
I’m not a fan of that. No one in the circles I roll with (and my circle usually turns in earlier than we used to, btw) will, either. Am I going to light a torch or brandish some form of a weapon as a result of my disagreement with you? Nope. Will someone? Apparently. Then what? More protests?
Do we decide to agree to disagree, in the name of true respect, unity and acceptance?
If we do the latter, in short order, and respect the public discourse we can then get back to building infrastructure, molding our next generation, loving our kids, being good role models for them, reducing the national debt, solving world hunger, supporting good government, finding those who should be in elected office and generally just making our world a better place.
As for me and mine, I’m for building a better United States, leaving it better than I found it, helping it to become truly more accepting and just getting over the rest of it, all in the best interest of the Common Good
Here’s the deal, though, you have to do the same. It can’t cut just one way.
Lord knows we have bigger issues to resolve than finding another online or public comment to get mad about and light a torch or grab a can of spray paint.
If we don’t focus on the bigger issues, learn from our past, and ultimately move on, this lifeboat may start sinking, or worse, capsize.
And that’s One Man’s Opinion.