I thought by now that I would have it all figured out. You know these important questions like, what is the meaning of life and what is my purpose here? And when I think I have all the answers I need, a new question lets me know I am not there yet.
I can’t even fathom a world void of meaning and purpose. Chaos is the only result.
This quest for meaning and purpose moves me forward. It is not enough to just exist, to be born to live and then to die. I have to know why. What is key to our human existence is two-fold. One to find meaning to myself as an individual and secondly where I as an individual join other individuals, as together we find meaning and purpose in life.
I don’t think we have a choice in where, when, or how we are born. After that, we have moved about the planet to find out where we fit. The process never easy, but often necessary. One of those mass migrations was key in developing the United States of America. And with time has grown to fifty states, several territories. Housed within our borders are samples if every nation, nationality, race, color, and creed.
As we are a nation of immigrants, we have had our share of challenges. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s I witnessed many of these challenges.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
We have had our bout with civil, women, and gay rights. We pass laws and that isn’t enough. Laws define and set perimeters, but this is key, laws don’t change. minds. That hatred, that bias, discrimination, prejudice, it’s deep-rooted in the mind of the individual. There is only one person that can change their mind and that is themselves. Period.
I’m not saying this is an easy fix. What I am saying is each and every one of us must be held accountable for our own actions. And yes that includes our reactions to others actions. I can’t even count the times I’ve heard people justify what they have done because of what has been done to them.
Growing up in America I wanted to believe in that utopian democratic dream. The freedoms set in writing in our constitution, a group of fifty state with citizens from all all over the world, and each of us enjoying an equal and free life. Who wouldn’t want that? An everyday Joe, if he worked hard, saved and invested his money could live an abundant life. And this wasn’t just for men but women as well. Not just white but black and every other color of the rainbow.
The world is changing. I know it is an overstated clique at times, but it doesn’t make it less true. In the past couple of years, I have watched the American dream shattered right before my eyes. My utopian dream of a country united, where everyone is treated equally, and though my hard work I am able to live the abundant life, none of it is true. I am not being pessimistic, but for the first time being realistic. If you are not seeing it you are sleeping and dreaming and that ain’t reality.
A nation united that we are not. Equality, on paper, but when it plays out we are not. Land of opportunity, for the top 1%. Big money and special interests are controlling Washington DC. I don’t think anyone should disagree.
But I want to be clear. It is not a time to be sleeping. We have begun with the midterm elections, a record turn out. That is not a means to the end. It is a beginning. We need to pay attention because there is more involved than just Trump in the White House. He didn’t get there by himself and he hasn’t done what he is doing without going unchecked. Checks and balance written into the constitution.
Maybe we need to take a look at the electoral college. Is it really representing all the people? That would also mean a closer look at our two party system. Is it helping or hindering? Then maybe a look at the idea if limiting the number of terms a Congress person can have. That’s a good start If half of that was addressed it would be a positive thing. The door has been open and can’t be closed we need to act. We must move forward. And it’s not going to happen standing on opposite sides of the aisle battling back and forth. There needs to be a cooperation, a working together, a conversation , and that doesn’t mean everybody talking at the same time. One talks the other listens. Then the other talks while the other listens. And it is imperative it’s not to be in one ear and out the other. It is hearing what each other is saying.