Friday, July 26, 2019

We Can All Do Better: A Strong and Positive United States of America

As I've noted before, I cannot stay quiet during Trump times because his leadership is an affront to what I value and the vision I have for the United States. My vision is for a country that works for betterment for all with the will that everyone has an opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Grateful for those who forged promising paths for our own lives: I feel strongly about this for many reasons. First of all, in my own life, I have reaped the rewards of the hard work of people past--thanks to those who fought for women's rights, I can vote and I had the opportunity to get a good education and dedicate myself to a positive career as an educator. Unlike teachers long ago, I am able to teach and have a family too. There was a time when female teachers had to leave the profession once they married or had children. Similarly, thanks to our United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, I am freely able to share my thoughts, practice my religion of choice, live a lifestyle that's honest to who I am, and be apart of many strong and vibrant communities near and far, online and off.

Recognize the strength that diversity brings to our lives: I also feel strongly about my vision for the United States because, in my own life, I have experienced the strength that diversity brings to one's life and community. I have profited from collaboration with colleagues, family members, neighbors and friends' diverse perspectives, lifestyles, and experiences. I believe we do better when we embrace our diversity with an eye on what's best for each of us--we don't have to live exactly the same, but we can live in ways that positively support one another's needs and interests.

Make better for the people that live amongst us and come after us: I understand that we are a people and country that needs to continually evolve to get better. I've noticed how humanity is a magnet that pulls us forward over time. I know that the more we work to better the lives of those that come after us, the better our country and world will be. Just because I had to endure struggle in some areas of life, doesn't mean those that come after me should endure the same struggle--we should all work to better the paths of those that come after us, and that work requires humility, sacrifice, and a will for betterment.

Become adept at civil debate, discourse, and compromise: As we govern ourselves, we will rarely agree, and that is why civil debate, discourse, and compromise is essential. Great leaders over time are leaders who have been able to entertain multiple perspectives and work for compromise. To become polarized is to stagnate positive evolution and development. No one has the monopoly on what is best, but we can all work together to make better. Though challenging to be open minded to the many perspectives that exist, it is right to be open minded and to engage in civil debate and discourse to arrive at common purpose and result that is humane and proactive for humankind.

Fight against hate, discrimination, violence, and disrespect: We cannot stay silent in the face of hate, discrimination, violence, and disrespect. The reality is that we all have a right to be here, and we all have a responsibility to work for as much peace and care for one another as possible. To think that someone is radically different from you with regard to their rights, opportunities, or humanity is simply ignorant. As so many of us have learned in our families, community affiliations, and work, to strengthen those who face the most challenge in life is to strengthen all of us. We cannot accept racism, classism, sexism, or any other discriminatory ways.

Be humble in all you do: None of us have the monopoly on knowing and doing the best, yet we all have potential to contribute our talents, energy, resources, and time to make better. This contribution will vary from person to person and from time to time. We will all face times of great capacity and times of little ability to contribute.  We must do what we can when we can, and be humble with the knowledge that we can never be or do it all.

Do your homework: There is a lot to know out there about what is right and good for our country and its people. That's why it is imperative that we do our homework and share what we know with as much truth and accuracy as possible. We can't be satisfied with quick-fix sound bites, but we have to dig deeper to understand the ideas, laws, policies, and protocols presented. We have to fight against our primitive instincts for quick fix solutions and make time to truly think about the depth and complexity of a situation. More than anything, as we move to an increasingly interdependent international society, we have to focus on how we communicate, make decisions, and connect to one another in ways that are proactive rather than destructive. I see this as an unsurprising evolution because over time the people on Earth have become much more intertwined, and I expect it won't be long before our international society is dealing with people from a cosmic society. It seems to be a predictable evolution.

Don't become discouraged or overwhelmed: The complexity of this increasingly interdependent society can be confusing, overwhelming, discouraging, and frightening. Ideas are moving at lightning speed, connections are great, innovation extraordinary, and the ability to keep up with it all impossible. Life isn't as simple as we'd like it to be and clearly superficial, quick-fix solutions are not going to move us ahead. Instead, this seeming chaos is calling us to push inward to get strong with fundamental human values such as caring for one another, caring for the planet, and especially looking out for those who face the greatest challenges and needs in life. Rather than embracing a spirit of competition amongst the world's people, what if we embraced the common goal of uplifting life for each and every one of us? What if we worked for peaceful, clean, and happy communities the world over? I believe that's possible, but because it sounds so simple, people belittle the notion. If everyone embraced this mindset, we would see positive change. I know it.

I'm called to write about these times and the potential we hold as a people for betterment because I have been the recipient of many people's will and effort to make better over time. My life is good because of this positive energy and effort. If it's possible for me, it is possible for all the world's people. We don't have the time for hate, greed, disrespect, and violence because that only holds us back from the great potential for betterment that exists. The lives each of us lead are short, and we have a choice to devote our lives to making better or invest in greater greed and demise which does no one any good, not even ourselves. I can only imagine that those who dedicate themselves to such negative pursuits simply go to their graves full of regret rather than satisfaction that they've lived a good life for themselves and others.

I'll use the tenets above as we continue to struggle in the face of errant leadership by Trump and his self-serving cronies and family members. I am working for a better day with good leadership at the helm--I know great potential exists, and I will support the good and gifted leaders who will take us in that direction.