If America crosses my line in the sand, I will react accordingly.
The United States of America and I have a lifelong relationship that has become a love-hate relationship. In the beginning, I had no complaints. All my wants and needs were simply taken care of. I was born a fortunate son. My gender, skin color, sexual preference, and religion were all looked upon with great approval. The dominant narrative of white male history reflected back to me what was good about the demographic I was born into. I was constantly reminded about the wonderful accomplishments and contributions of people who looked liked me.
I was also reminded about what was wrong with those who fell outside of my demographic. These folks were generally blamed for not only their misfortune, but mine as well.
Even though she has been very good to me in many ways, I have come to a place in my life where I can no longer be in a relationship with my country on the same level as I was in my youth. I’ve come to discover the cost of such a relationship. The price for my good fortune is misfortune for many. With privilege comes oppression and destruction. I’m not leaving my country of origin physically, but I left her emotionally long ago. We still live together, but it’s only for the sake of the kids as they say. My friends and family live here and I love them, even if I’ve given up my support for the country that raised me.
Have you ever been in a love-hate relationship? Love-hate can only go so far before the relationship arrives at a tipping point. The tipping point in many relationships are the moments where you can head down a healthy path, or turn toward a point of no return.
Where is your line in the sand?
Is your line clear and defined, or blurred and adaptable? Clear lines in the sand have defined expectations and boundaries. Unclear and blurred lines in the sand are never drawn, or continue to move, always shifting. If you want your relationship to be healthy and thriving, it is important to know what a healthy relationship feels like. How can the relationship thrive if you can’t recognize functional interactions from the dysfunctional loyalty we often have toward people, and the country we reside in.
I’ve been told to love my country or leave it on countless occasions.
If Donald Trump wins the presidency, many have threatened to leave. Maybe that’s their line in the sand. My line remains with those I love. If they stay, then I stay. If they decide to move on, then I will as well. For me, it’s about the people rather than the place. People who offer me such a ridiculous choice between loving or leaving my country appear to be fighting for something they believe has slipped away from them like their line in the sand. I believe Donald Trump is a direct result of such lunacy.
I will not bow down to the manifesto of fear where supporting the troops comes with no thought but a dysfunctional loyalty to something that is ultimately more complex and insidious then most will ever realize. I will not support the law, or those who enforce it, just because it is the law and because our default is to be comfortably numb citizens. I will not just sit back quietly and watch fear and hate continue to rear their ugly heads. Instead, I will speak truth to power and point out our collective dysfunctional loyalty to a narrative we were simply conditioned to memorize and obey. If my line in the sand is crossed, I will react accordingly.
Reflection is what it takes to leave her.
Reflection is difficult. It’s easy to wave a flag, or a yellow ribbon, and pledge your allegiance as a conditioned response to a beloved country. I realize there are enormous numbers of people who take their loyalty to America’s institution and nation very seriously. They can have her trappings. Such loyalty comes with a price that many can’t pay when misfortune unexpectedly comes knocking at their door. That’s when many people realize what it takes to leave her.
Can they, or will they, leave her? Only time will tell.
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