January 1, 2010

Divided we fell, united we will stand again.

There's no doubt you've already taken a trip down memory lane. You've considered the last year, maybe the last decade, and found moments of joy and moments of hardache. No doubt, you've tried to concentrate on the joyous moments because they bring you hope.

I wonder, though, if you might add one more thought to your reminising? What was it that divided us in the last decade? What was it that caused us to not trust our neighbor? Not us...Greensburg, Indiana. Not us...the United States of America. What divided us...as humanity?

Some will read that question and take a self-righteous trip...as if they were the ultimate unifier. In reality, though, if they've ever gossiped, called the other party's candidate a name or wished ill will toward another, then the self-righteous train, they shouldn't be on.

Seriously, though, what divided us? I can't be the only one who has seen a shift in how we interact with one another or how we think about our neighbors across the world. I don't think it was a president, a party or a people. I think all those things were used to perpetuate this division. What has changed in our collective mindset that tells us "we are better than they are", "we can no longer trust anyone" or "I'm right because this person said so."

I'm not sure I have my finger on it, but I think its about our selfish nature or self-preservation. A person will always think they are right before they consider another's viewpoint. A party will always fight to preserve their reach at all cost. A president...well he fights a couple of battles. One is his own preservation and self-interests, the other is his party, the other is his country.

But what about us? How do we escape the division? How do we not participate in it? Is it that we must begin thinking for ourselves and stop being fed our beliefs? Is it that we take iniative to help our neighbors, rather than wait on some group to help them? Is it that we stop putting ourselves into groups and consider all humanity as one group? I don't know the answer, but I think its a collection of the above that will help us find our way back.

So, along with the reminising of the last decade, take the next few moments to consider what it is that YOU will do to ensure the next one will be one of unity.

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