I love my country and I want better for her. I want to see those blinding transgressions transformed into a beautiful sunset, multiple colors mingling with the imperfections in the sky to create a stunning tapistry. I want to develop a mature patriotism, one that doesn't put up blinders but one that sees the flaws and works towards transformation so that all citizens can feel they truly belong to the country that they call home, whether by birth or adoption.
When I look around my country today, I see a lot of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of the new, fear of the other. We're afraid of changes in our neighborhoods, afraid of the outcome of the next election, afraid of the changing economy, and afraid of loss of control. It's this fear that causes us to lash out online and vote against the best interests of our neighbor It's this fear that keeps us from trying something new and reaching out to help someone else. I know what fear does to me and I don't like it. And while I can't just wish it away, I want to do better. I want to live in hope, not in fear. I want to work to better the world for my neighbors, not just protect my own self interests.
It is understanding that connectedness that pushes us outside of ourselves, working to build a better world for the many, not just the few. When we embrace our interdependence, we realize that what is good for others can also be good for us as we work together for a future we can be proud of.
Meaningful change always starts when we seek to understand those who are different from us, in beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. I believe it is worth the effort, a way to break up the tribalism that haunts every corner of American society. I don't want to see what we will become if we don't try.