How to Unite a Divide (Hint: It Starts with We)

We live in a divided country. A country whose constitution starts out with the words “We the people…”

There is much in the news and on social media stating we are divided based on politics.  Republicans vs. Democrats.  Trump supporters vs Hillary Supporters.  Obama lovers vs Obama haters.  This is what many say is dividing us. 

It is politics that divides us, they say.

But, in truth, it is not politics that divides usIt is people who divide us. Hate comes from people.  Judgment comes from people.  So it is we, the people, creating the divide.

The back and forth on social media, between people who don’t know anything about each other, is disheartening.  So much name calling and hate.  Friends who are no longer friends, because of who they voted for.  Hate crimes because someone wears a hat or a shirt abdicating for a candidate.

We are giving “others” too much power.  Neither Trump nor Obama nor Hillary really have any power over the way I think, the way I behave, or the way I believe.  WE all have free will.  Free will to think, believe, and act for ourselves.  .

So, if I have that power and you have that power, then it is us “We the people” who are creating this divide.  It is OUR thoughts, OUR behaviors, OUR words, OUR actions that are creating the energy of division in this country; the energy of being right (or wrong) and blaming (instead of taking responsibility). And, therefore, it is only us or we who can change it!

WE look to the politicians to fix this.  THEY can’t fix this.  Even using the word “they” instead of using the word “me” removes our responsibility in this, when it is WE who are responsible for fixing this. And, since it is we the people who are creating it, then it is we the people who need to change it.  And, this goes for ALL of us…politicians included.  Because they alone cannot heal the divide. They don’t have the power – we, individually DO.

Here’s the crazy thing.  WE are all the same.  As my mom used to say – we put our pants on one leg at a time.  Think about it. In this lifetime, we have similar pain, we have similar joy.  We hurt when we lose someone, we experience joy at the birth of a new life, we are happy when we experience love and hurt when we experience hate. We are the same – our sameness just comes in different packages of families, experiences, knowledge, beliefs and ultimately, how we see and experience the world (our individual lives). 

Those experiences that make up our lives, that create our beliefs, don’t make one of us right or the other wrong.  It is not our skin color or our religion that makes us “better than” or “less than”. We are each unique and at the same time, the same - relatable – when we open our minds.

I remember when 9-11 happened.  I remember everything about that day, so vividly.  I remember the pain, the fear, the hurt, the praying, the tears, and more praying.  And I remember the weeks and months following.  This country came together in the most beautiful way.  There were neighbors helping neighbors.  Hugs were rampant.  I saw hearts opening to others, that were closed before.  People really cared about one another – not because of what separated us, but because of what united us.  I’m sure there was still some darkness and hate, but for the most part, I experienced what love and acceptance can do.

If we want a country UNITED, then it is up to each and every one of us, individually.  We need to EACH do our part.  To take responsibility for the words that come out of our mouths, for our posts on social media, for the actions we take.  Open our hearts. Open our minds.  Stop judging each other for individual beliefs and instead open your mind to hearing another side and allowing others their rights to their beliefs, to their feelings, to their experiences. Open your heart to helping others to showing love.

We. Are. All. The. Same.   We are ONE.

And, what that means, is as we do to another…we do to ourselves.

So as we hate another we hate ourselves.  And as we love another, we love ourselves. 

Easy solution: choose love instead of hate

Choose to listen instead of speaking.

Choose forgiveness over judgement.

Choose to open your heart instead of closing your mind

Imagine if we each, all of us, all 323 Million of us, took one small step toward kindness and acceptance today. What would our divide look like then?

Imagine if the approximately 250 Million Facebook users in this country posted words of love, support, and kindness today? And left out words of intolerance, right fighting, and politics?

Imagine if we extended a hand to our neighbors, to someone in the grocery store or on the street, who needed it, regardless of skin color, political belief, or religion. 

Imagine if we could each open our hearts to each other, to the stories that make the person, to understanding their way may not be my way, but it doesn’t make it wrong…

Imagine that world.  That country.  United by We the People


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