The end of the year is rapidly approaching. For many that fact comes as a welcome relief, for others, it is more reason to be apprehensive. Many would agree that 2016 hasn’t been the most stellar year in American history. The blame for that lies in a multitude of laps.
The loss of talented and iconic legends seemed to be more prevalent than in previous years. Maybe the losses were just magnified because of our other troubles. It did seem that we lost more than what should be fair.
World events, disasters, and atrocities were regular headlines. Pictures of lost and dying children in countries we have never visited, and the horrible events that happened in our own back yards. Shootings involving police victims and those where police were the perpetrators, were both all too common. Terrorist attacks at home and abroad were near daily reminders of a world that appeared to be going mad.
Then, of course, there was the election.
With all the other horrors in the world, we as Americans paused to attack one another. We failed to see each other’s point of views. While there are those points of view that never need to be entertained, and we certainly had those, we stopped having conversations. We stopped listening, and to some degree we all became trolls. Not just online, but in person. We became ugly, and we became angry.
That anger and ugliness are still here. Much of it has manifested into gloating in some and an unbending stubbornness in others. Many who were pushed into picking a side that they didn’t 100% agree with are now the most alienated. That is a telling indictment of both sides of the political landscape.
I consider myself a middle of the road, libertarian leaning, leave me alone kind of guy. Even I was forced to pick a side that became a fight for survival and what I considered, and still do, a fight against the destruction of the nation as I know it.
However, I want to go back to being that middle of the road, leave me, alone guy. One who wants the best for everyone but not at the expense of who we are as a nation. One who wants to be secure but not at the expense of freedom. I want to be the guy who is accepting and loving of all humanity but not at the cost of safety. I want America to be America again I want us to be a light and example for the rest of the world to endeavor to become. Today I am afraid we are for the first time struggling to keep up.
My conservative friends call me a liberal; my liberal friends consider me a right winger, and my libertarian friends would say I was a statist. That is all acceptable, as long as they continue to call me friend.
As we move into 2017, we face a lot of unknowns. I will readily admit I am anxious and a little nervous about what will unfold. The only way we can combat it is if we listen to each other, and to our own common sense. Stop making everything about who is right and who is wrong and make it about what is right and what is wrong.
Mainly I just want us to listen to each other again. Not to just what we are saying but listen to what we are all feeling. Having a different experience in this country doesn’t invalidate someone else’s opinion.
Be good to one another. Happy Holidays.
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