My father said, years ago, “When America seems lost or divided, angry or hopeless, a war or tragedy usually is the cure.”
“Dad, that is so sad. Why does it have to be that way? It seems totally ridiculous to me!” I replied with frustration.
His one-word response as he walked away was, “Humans.”
However, history does seem to back Dad’s theory. After Sept. 11, 2001, an entire country wept. Political discord was forgotten, differing opinions lost importance, and we joined hands in prayer. We grieved together, determined to unify, defend, and protect the integrity of America.
Today, will such a disaster be required to return to our senses? Why does it take horror to shake up our humility, dignity, and appreciation of freedom?
We have allowed disease, politics, conspiracies, distrust, and rage to weave their destructive ways into our everyday lives. Violence roars, people shout, and solutions seem unattainable because we keep committing the same human errors. We often cast aside our spiritual nature to defend our personal ideologies, and thus, we weaken our entire country.
A common theme from all political sides is, “I love my country, so I will fight for what I know is right.” If we sincerely love our country, shouldn’t we be open-minded and listen to others’ ideas to solve our common problems?
Jan. 6, 2021, should have shocked all of us into change. I am happy that my dad wasn’t here to see Americans attacking Americans, breaking into our Capitol, and obliterating integrity.
The first few hours after the attack on the Capitol, Congress stood together in resolve and determination to defend democracy. We all heard their words, but bias, partisan politics, and policy disagreements have destroyed such will and again become selfishly human. So, I presume we will continue to search for war instead of peace to find peace.
How could we let such an event slip under the rug, deny its truth, unsee what we saw, and continue to deepen a divide?
We want violence to end in our streets, yet we want to ignore political violence and disrespect. Death, chaos, and destruction at any time are the same; none of them is OK. What is the difference between a young man shooting a friend over an argument gone sour and a mob on a mission to possibly kill over a dispute? Nothing.
We can’t make wrongs right, no matter how many blinders we wear. Will it take a bomb to shake us to the core this time? Will we need to endure another attack on democracy by a foreign government to save us from going to war with each other?
Let’s instead raise the bar on our humanity by bringing integrity back into our nature. Hate-fueled speeches, ranting posts on social media, and political parties pouring gasoline on bonfires should end for us not to self-destruct. I know that is a lot to ask, but it all begins with becoming a better human.
Honor, virtue, and valuing America should become our new mantra. We start working our way down every street to pour our commonality into the fissures of our land. Our ancestors fought for us to be able to vote differently and have opposing ideas, but the goal is to use such as an advantage to build, not a reason to destroy.
From the halls of Congress to the news outlets, to the right wings, left wings and those in the middle, we should raise the bar of intelligence, courage, and respect. Stop blaming and start becoming something other than just human. Because being just human just isn’t good enough. Isn’t that a more acceptable option than disaster? It takes work, humility, and compromise, but isn’t that better than defeat?
A more perfect union begins with each of us perfecting who we are and what we can do. It isn’t rocket science, but it still takes study, concentration, and a pure heart. It requires voting for leaders who will bring honor to our nation and build American pride.
Americans died on Sept. 11, 2001. It began as a typical work day for innocent people, and by the end of the day, an enemy had changed America. On Dec. 7, 1941, a Navy captain began his day by reviewing his orders while sipping a coffee. By the end of the day, Americans had changed into warriors, defenders, and champions of liberty.
Humans. We are flawed and do dumb things, but if we can unify without tragedy, we have raised the bar, pleased God, and showed the world our greatness. That is the medicine for the cure, the hope for tomorrow instead of war and repeating human history.