There is some scary stuff being talked about these days. Class warfare. Letting the uninsured get sick and die. Cutting funds for education. Cutting funding for disaster victims. More and more it is obvious that the effort to separate people and put them at odds with one another is of greater import than bringing people together for the greater good.
Everywhere we turn we see division. Red state vs. Blue state. Democrat vs. Republican. Muslim vs. Christian. Rich vs. Poor. Have vs. Have not. We are being set-up to believe that we must be in constant conflict, constant competition. Everywhere you look you see an Us vs. Them dispute of some kind or other. And we are being forced to choose sides.
Some people argue that only through conflict can we evolve, can we grow. Some people argue that only with intense, violent change can we move forward. I disagree.
We all have a right to grow, and change, and move forward, beyond what violence can bring us. We all have the right to peace, and with peace, prosperity. And with peace and prosperity, ultimately, happiness.
We are now witnessing what happens when both sides refuse to compromise, refuse to try to agree. Our US Congress is in an endless deadlock, and becoming more and more disagreeable and partisan. Who is suffering? The vast majority of us – those of us who make up the so-called ‘middle class’, the ‘Average Joes’, so to speak.
But on the other side – I have seen how much people can accomplish by working TOGETHER. A community, in every sense of the word.
Following the most intense flood they have seen in 500 years after Hurricane Irene, nearly every business on Broadway in Denville, NJ took flood damage. A lot of equipment was lost, there was considerable property damage, and very few businesses had flood insurance. But rather than give up, rather than look for somewhere to cast the blame, the community banded together and vowed to rebuild.
Local citizens, business owners, government officials, everyone who could volunteered to help clean up, vowed to shop at the businesses that were still open, opted to work with one another to restore Denville to how it was. The true spirit of community is impressive to behold – from the masses of people days after the flood waters salvaging what they could, to the notes of support from local students on every window – the community is working as a single entity to come back from this catastrophe.
Politics do not matter. Age does not matter. Class does not matter. Everyone in the community is working TOGETHER to bring their town back. And it is quite the site to behold.
This is the perfect example of what the world needs now. We need to stop defining our differences and refining our separations – we need to find our common ground, and work together for the greater good. We need to reach out to one another. We need to remember that community can be both great and small. But we are not so different from one another – we are all human.
Take a moment and think about the ways we all separate ourselves from one another. Take a moment and consider how much more we accomplish when we work together than when we work against one another.
We need to remind the media, the politicians, the wealthy, the poor, the well and the sick that we are ALL in this together. We are a chain, linked to one another – and we are only as strong as the weakest link. No one is perfect, every link can be cracked and broken – even the strongest. If we do not work together, we only break apart into useless bits of metal.
We have to reach out to one another, and HELP OURSELVES. We need to stop relying on the media, stop relying on our politicians, we need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and make the effort to secure the weakest links, rather than watch them crack apart. We need to find our communities, and come together for the greater good.
This goes against a great deal of mainstream thought these days. I am suggesting we bypass the institutions that are in place and find our own way. I am suggesting that we stop casting aspersions and placing blame and we take control of our lives, and work WITH instead of against one another. It has to start small, but if we can just START, maybe we can spread it.
I am no one of consequence. In the Grand Scheme of Things™ I am just a guy who is trying to live my life. But when all is said and done – SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. I blog these grand commentaries because I want to share the way I see the world with everyone else – and maybe influence people to THINK more. To SEE more. And in the end – to BE more.
Our lives are precisely that – OURS. If we continue to define ourselves by our differences, and look to others to show us the way, we continue to give away our lives. Working together does not mean waiting for someone else to make things happen – it means WORKING, EACH OF US, TOGETHER, to achieve the goal. We only get so far as the least effective worker gets us. But maybe, just maybe, if we try this together, we can improve our collective lots in life.
So before you complain about the state of the economy, the partisan bullshit of the US Government, or the greed of the wealthy corporations – consider what YOU are doing, and what your friends, family, neighbors, and community are DOING to make your own way.
Let’s all do our best, together, to make our own peace, prosperity, and happiness.