A More Perfect Union

Been thinking a lot about unity since about a week ago. There have been declarations. Congratulations. Denial. You know, the usual stuff. Here we are, the *United* States of America.

Sure doesn’t feel united right now, does it?

There are probably a lot of little reasons, but the main one is simple: we choose not to be. We tend to want to let ourselves of the hook for this, but the truth is the truth: we make choices about who we love and how we show we care about them. Sure, we can be influenced. There’s a whole industry dedicated to influencing our decisions. But in the end, we decide. You and I. Can’t excuse myself from this, as much as I’d like to.

But, I’m trying to make better choices and be influenced less by those that might profit from dividing me from the friends and family that I love.

It’s hard, gang.

I want very badly to justifiably put people in their place. To drop the perfect meme on them that will change the way they see the world. Maybe an inspired quote. But, none of that will actually make things better. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s that minds don’t change unless hearts change first. David Lynch once said, “we must fix our hearts or die.” There’s your inspirational quote, everybody. And, it’s True! That’s *exactly* what we must do. We must recognize the suffering in this world and take action to lessen it. If the solution causes more suffering, then we need to work it out until there is less. No one thing will fix everything all at once. It will take changing your heart a thousand times to get it right just once. This is the great and perfect lesson that life teaches us every day. Tomorrow, there will be a moment where you and I will be in a position to lessen someone’s suffering. All you need to be willing to do is acknowledge it and act. It’s that simple. This is how the world we all live in will change for the better. The only way, really.

There are a lot of BIG issues facing us. There isn’t just one answer. It will take a lot of different minds and a lot of different ideas, but our hearts must be aligned or it’s all for nothing. We must embrace compromise and realize that no one will singularly be able to fix any of it. God gave us agency and it’s up to us to use our talents, our work ethic and our pride to give meaning to our existence.

I asked my friends on Facebook today to give me an example of a Universal Truth. There were several comments and not a single repeat. We all have ideas about what is true. Most of it is belief. And belief is good. You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything, amiright? Sorry. Belief gets us most of the way, but it’s what we know that provides the actual foundation for building bridges.

What do we know?

There’s not much, it turns out. We believe a lot of things. And because we confuse belief with knowledge, it’s too easy to become entrenched in side-ism. I want to know what Truths we can agree on and start conversations there. This is well-worn negotiating technique, but it’s proven to work-if both sides agree to do it. There it is again. Action.

I hope we find our way out of the mess that is quickly engulfing us. I hope that I can do the work to lessen other’s suffering more than cause it because, in the end, you and I are in this together and no one gets out of here alive.

What do you think?

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