Humbled… The word of the day is Humbled. Why humbled you may ask? Quite simply I feel humbled. But to explain what I am feeling and what the reasons are, I am going to have to unravel my thoughts and put it into words.
My understanding of humility is more than physical, deeper than the mind’s emotions, penetrating my heart.
Born in 1953, I grew up in 60’s America. The American Dream was families living in freedom, with the opportunity, if one worked hard to achieve prosperity and success. Feeling safe and protected. A certain pride or patriotism in our country as we aspired to leadership in the free world.
My folks were private about their politics. It was like sacred to them. They considered it an honor to vote. An added note, I thought it was odd at the time, but it is clear to me now. One of them registered democrat and the other republican, representing both sides.
I started paying attention to politics, at age 7. J.F.K. was running for president. We did a mock election in school and I campaigned for him. He and Jackie brought positive energy to our country in a time we really needed. They called it Camelot. When he was murdered not only did we lose our president, but a part of America died that day.
So, this is my mindset. It is all about family, Proud Americans, believing in the American Dream, believing we were the greatest richest nation and protector of the world and democracy. Safe and secure. We felt we were privileged.
We believed everything they taught us in school. There was no reason to question things. In our place of isolation, we project an air of superiority, the watchdog of the world, better than other.
I hope I have given you a little background to where I am at. Don’t get me wrong we need to believe in the principles of free and equal government with all its benefits. Patriotism can be good. If you have a good thing you want to share it with others. But what is key here is it must be rooted in truth. Sadly, we have been living a lie.
This is what has brought me to my knees in humility. And I want to be as clear as possible. My questioning did not begin with the Trump election but was the culmination of several year’s events. Trump is the icing on the cake.
No, my questions began when J.F.K. was murdered, followed by a sloppy investigation, and questionable cover-up. Vietnam, Kent State Killing, 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, Watergate, Iraq, and so much more. I said before when J.F.K. died apart of America died with him.
I think now I must have been half awake, in complete denial, didn’t think I could do anything about it so let’s party or a combination of all that. The point is with all the events, issues, situations nothing stuck. I had a perception of what we, American was. And to come to the realization that as a nation we are divided in that.
Well, the blinders have come off and I am seeing it in real time. The line “ That’s not who we are”doesn’t hold water. No, that is exactly who we are. The statement in the Constitution saying that “all men are created equal” was written and signed by slave owners. Washington, war hero and first president, and may I add slave owner. Jefferson, a slave owner.
How about we make mention of all that transpired with all the native-born when the Europeans came to America. The history books rewrote a more glamorous picture. Thanksgiving and trading beads with the natives. And then there is Columbus, you know the one we honor as the one who discovered America. What wasn’t said was he miscalculated, he didn’t hit the mainland at all. He landed off the coast of Cuba. Let us also be reminded he brought boatloads of slaves to the new world. And there might be a few lines in the history books illustrating all the natives that he had brutally killed. This a man of integrity that we look up to? It’s kind of ironic how we embrace and immortalize persons that reap violence in their wake.
The America I see and am apart of is greatly divided. As an individual, I am free to have and voice my personal ideology. If I believe this then everyone else is entitled to their own ideology. America is a collection of individuals. Is there no wonder that our nation is divided and what is making it worse is no communication. You may ask what do you mean no communication? There are a lot of people talking. You have a point. They are all talking at each other, not to each other. So, what you get is no one listening. That turns to yell at each other. Slinging insults and obscenities. And the divide gets wider.
The key to unity is to find common ground, compromise. We are all Americans. We live in a country that has seen much prosperity. We aren’t perfect but we have makings of something that could work and that’s a start.