I have just returned home after extensive traveling. Thousands of miles across eighteen states, from the bustling, nervous east coast in D.C. to the quiet and desolate Texas turnpikes with its blowing tumbleweeds. While there is indeed much diversity throughout this land, one thing I continue to find as a common denominator wherever I go is the unrest and uneasiness regarding the future of this land.
Throughout the years amid changing and often turbulent times, this country has endured. It can be debated by many as to what the force behind it may have been. However, what we do know is that it has stood as a legacy of ingenuity and a testament to the productivity that can come from a society structured such as ours.
The people of this land are experiencing change in cultural, social, religious and economical trends to one extent or another. Whether it is a business owner, a senior citizen, a college graduate or the single mother trying to maintain a family while coping with inflation, all are being touched by an emerging new world that has quickly become threatening. Many find that the world in which they were raised included attributes and values of morality, courtesy, patriotism and more. They have also found that in many instances these attributes and values have all but disappeared.
Still, in other ways, the more mature citizens in our culture find technological marvels which in their childhood would have seemed only that of science fiction. The shifts in our small sands of time have uncovered a world that is new, yet very old.
Despite all the changes we are experiencing in technology, the economy, big business and myriads more that could be enumerated, one thing remains, it is still people that matter most. Whether it is exercised on a practical level or not, the truth of the matter persists.
In a time when so much emphasis is placed on the political polls, parties and politicians, the largest factor - that which really makes the difference - is our relationship with the people who are in our day-to-day lives. The revolution that elevated this country to its supreme stature would have never been accomplished without the unity of its countrymen. The strength exhibited, was in the ability to act harmoniously with each, stand together and in so doing demonstrate the importance of human relationships during perilous times.
Regardless of your religious or spiritual convictions, there are universal laws that have been written on the hearts of mankind. They are laws which dictate certain guidelines in the treatment of others, regardless of feelings toward them or their beliefs. Loving our neighbor and treating them the way we desire to be treated is not out of style despite popular opinion. Touching lives by reaching out to the hurting, or intervening in someone's distressed universe bringing a little heaven to their hell should not be considered unfashionable!
In our day of advances in societal structure, we find that we are more individualistic than ever. As long as the status quo can be maintained, it may continue to work, but what if it cannot be maintained? Communication has been taken to unprecedented levels and is available in more diverse ways than ever before in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, as a result, we do not have better relationships as one would hope. Instead, social severance from the traditional person-to-person exchange is being sprung on humanity. Could the repercussions of a disjointed citizenry in the event of economic upheaval or (God-forbid) further acts of terror as is seen being perpetrated throughout the world take us along the same route as our predecessors in our ability to band together for the justice and salvation of our families?
As observable by merely spending time in the D.C. area, and seeing the bureaucratic madness, it is abundantly clear that reform will not come from Washington, therefore it must start on Main Street, in our homes. What will happen when hard times once again visit, as history dictates it must? Will this people continue to drive the stake of diversity into and among us at the behest of a more sinister suggestion? Diversity is only a downfall if we let it be, it can equally be a strength. Helping and supporting each other is vital, a truth with which those before us, at the inception of this country were well acquainted.
We have seen devastation in many areas of this country as well as around the globe. Some of it is publicized, some goes all but unnoticed. No one knows for sure what lies ahead, but when adversity once again arises, would you rather have your neighbors and countrymen as enemies or allies, as friends or foes? There is much change occurring which will inevitably continue. We should then ask ourselves the question, “what are we going to do with the time given to us? How well do we know our neighbors? How are our relationships?
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin.