Americans: What Unites Us. : ThyBlackMan

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Americans: What Unites Us.

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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( Everywhere you turn today you hear, “We are more at odds with our fellow citizens than ever before.” I don’t know if that’s entirely true, because there have been times in the past where Americans have gone into armed conflict with each other over their differing views. However, it’s definitely true that our country now has many groups that look at those outside their group as evil, crazy, power-hungry, etc. (fill in whatever other nasty adjective you can think of).

What I realized a little while ago is that while many of us belong to one or another of these groups, the groups are almost invariably organized around only one or two concepts. It’s difference on those few concepts that we use to paint all others as “them” rather than “us.” But if we looked at all the things we each believe to be true, I’m sure we’d find that in large part we agree with each other more than we disagree. I think it’s important for our country, our families, and ourselves to try to find these areas of agreement with others and to make it plain (both to them and to ourselves) that while we disagreeamericans2016 on some things, the larger group of things that we agree on makes us all one people, the American people. If we can do this, we can work on our disagreements more calmly and peacefully, and resolve them to the agreement and benefit of everyone.

In future pieces I’ll explore the things I personally believe in, and how I think they apply to everyone. You may not agree with all of them, but I’ll be very surprised if you don’t agree with many or most of them.

To end this first piece, I’d like to issue both an invitation and a challenge to everyone. If, in your daily life, you meet someone who you believe to be one of “them,” someone outside a group you consider yourself to be a member of, rather than turning away in distaste or saying something less than complimentary, try smiling at that person and introducing yourself. Shake his or her hand, find something that you have in common to talk about. That will probably be easy, since you will have met this person somewhere (in the grocery store, at work, waiting in line for a movie, etc.). Get to know that person as a person, not as one of “them.” Once you’ve done this, and also become a person to him or her, you can gradually start to talk calmly about your differences.

You’ll find that there are many things you already agree on: your hopes for the future, your worries about your kids, your occasional frustrations in daily life. It’s only by becoming people to each other that we can bridge our differences and see ourselves as the united American people we really are.

Staff Writer; Douglas Loss


2 Responses to “Americans: What Unites Us.”
  1. Douglas Loss says:

    Marque, that’s what I’m trying to get us past. Don’t make yourself one of “us” against all “them.” Instead, try to reach out and find common ground with those who you disagree with. I don’t say it’s easy to do; “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” But if you’re waiting for someone else to be the first to reach out, you may be in for a long wait. It’s up to all of us to reach out, or at least be receptive when someone else reaches out to us.

  2. Marque Anthony says:

    People can be united by spiritual belief and spiritual identity. According to God, that is most important and should always come first. We can be united by common goals. We can be united by patriotism. We can be united by race. but it is hard to be united as Americans when so many minorities and woman are treated as second class citizens. It is hard to be united as Americans when America still works against so many “black people” in thee courts, in the jails, with the police and with so many Trump supporters who are bigots and racists.

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