Sunday, December 6, 2009


I've been hearing a lot about the erosion of family in this country lately and how it's due to all the "changes" our nation has gone through in the last few decades. When this subject of erosion arises it is typically followed with the reasons being gay marriage, pro-choice or women working more.

I'm sorry but I fail to see how two men or women getting married, and possibly starting a family, could ever be deemed an erosion of any sort. If anything, the erosion is that we simply lack the selfless behavior and feelings of charity and goodwill towards other human beings who think differently than we do. I think, perhaps, we used to have more feelings of charity and goodwill towards other human beings. Our culture has gone so far to the "cult of individualism" that we can't see past our own nose on our faces. We are so busy filling our homes with items, that we want other people to see us having, that we have become too preoccupied with our own self. We fail to see or converse with the people who share space with us -- our families, friends, neighbors. We get wrapped up in petty fights and families break apart and siblings no longer talk. Years go by and that link is lost. More people are affected than just the two arguing but they don't see it.

Let me ask you this -- Raise your hand if you know and have befriended your neighbor. Have you been in their house? Do you even know their names? In many cities, we no longer even know our neighbors FIRST NAMES. We wouldn't know if our neighbor went missing because we don't pay enough attention to others around us. We are too busy with our own lives. Much too busy. Yet, I ask you -- are we truly THAT busy? I propose that it's really just about the distractions we allow to dominate our lives.

In other more cheesy words, "We've lost that loving feeling."

Last November, we vowed to ban together. Remember when we celebrated the awesomeness of our country electing our first African American president? Then things (economy, unemployment, housing market tanked...) got ever harder and things didn't magically (poof!) change overnight, like we are accustomed to. We all asked, why can't the changes needed to fix our nation be as fast as my food, mobile phone, internet?! Dang it! But I want them fixed now! MEH! As Americans we love to say things like, "Assimilate already. We are a melting pot!" or "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" or "These colors don't run!" or apple pie is American.
Well, I hate apple pie. Does that make me un-American? Does it make me un-American to support choice? That I have gay friends and family members who I support and love?

To me you become un-American when you start setting up dividing lines and spouting crap about what makes someone American or not. I know as a country we are all about choice and freedom of one's opinion but intolerance isn't freedom of one's opinion. It's simply hatred and fear in disguise.

Here's the thing, no matter what side we are on -- this country is broken. B-R-O-K-E-N. Broken.

We all need to stand up and admit it and admit to being part of the problem. We Americans love to talk. Look at all our pundits. Pundits don't solve problems, neither does arguing with those who already side with your own point of view. I want to scream, "It's not about you! It's about the greater good!" I know I'm an idealist, it's sweet isn't it?

We are only at the tipsiest tip of the start of this change but here we are. We as Americans must realize it will be a long, arduous battle and we can’t just give it lip service either. Our country is a work in progress that won't be fixed perfectly the first time around. It is one that doesn't get solved by simply arguing, but by opening our ears, minds and hearts to ALL people around us.

Reaching out, fostering relationships, coming together and working for change is American. Hating those who think differently, refusing to work and listen to the other side of the aisle and even calling them traitors to their country…?

Well, that sounds like the work of a terrorist if you ask me. Divide and conquer.

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