Imagine if we spent our time looking for solutions, rather than problems. That we worked harder on resolution, and less on trying to be right. The concept of correct is inanimate and fluid. It moves between people and thoughts and opinions based on what you have seen and what you know to be true. For this reason, there is no exact ‘correct’, there are only versions of an altered reality.
What we need to focus on is our common ground, the things that bring us all together in joy and love. We have so many opportunities to celebrate the good, yet we choose to focus on the bad. The things that divide us as a country. The things that keep us from seeing the other side of the coin. With so many choices available, when you choose to be singularly focused only on what you know or believe or can see right in front of you without so much as an attempt to broaden your view, you are limiting yourself the same as if you choose to stay inside your house for the rest of your life. When you then take those singular thoughts and use them as weapons to condemn others, now you are trying to sentence others to the same fate.
We have to remember that freedom isn’t an all-encompassing factor. It is a luxury item to be used with the utmost care and concern for the future of the act itself and for our fellow citizens. Freedom isn’t a license to do as we please and it isn’t a barrier to hide behind when we choose to take up a position of obstinance. The mere act of going down that road diminishes the importance that freedom plays in our society. It is not only our most sacred gift but our most valuable asset. It is the thing that sets America apart from so many other places on earth and yet we end up taking it for granted by twisting it into something aimed at our own selfish gains.
The America we know and love is focused on truth, honor, and dignity. It is a place where true freedom of expression, beliefs, and actions are in their most pure form. It is a paradise for growth and dreams and progress. We know of nothing more critical to our survival than ensuring that what we have built here remains strong, firm, and solid. Our diversity is our strength, whether we realize it or not, we cannot begin to accomplish all that we have or will without the varying perspectives and knowledge we possess. The exact things that stand to divide us can also be our catalyst. A catalyst for action based on mistakes made in the past and injustices served to us. We can learn and grow from them or we can be defeated by them, we choose our fate. We need to look around, step back, be silent and just observe. Where have we come to? Where will this get us? Where do we go from here? The view from 10,000 feet is very much different than inches from our face. We must be willing to back up and contemplate the view.
Imagine if we choose to lay personal differences aside and work together on the common facts to solve the most critical issues. Imagine if we stop judging others by what they don’t seem to know or understand and instead extend our hands and abilities to the promise of tomorrow and the goals we all hold so dear. There is always strength in numbers, but there is something more powerful in common goals. The common goal we all possess is the love for our country’s liberties, opportunities, and resilience in the face of adversity. We’ve climbed steeper mountains before and have faced much more divisive atrocities. We have the ability and the will to do it again, but this time with the strength and knowledge of a battle-worn soldier who has lived through the hard times only to more deeply appreciate the good. The opportunity we have been given isn’t a small one but surely it is not insurmountable. It is simply the next challenge in the story of America. Imagine what good we could do with that opportunity if everyone just inched one notch up towards the good of society. If we just focused for one moment on the love of country instead of the love of self. This is the America I know. It is there and maybe just momentarily hidden or lost, but very real and alive and ready for a comeback, and you know how much we all love a good comeback…