United we stand, divided we fall.
As a culture we love to take a stand on issues. In many ways, we’d rather be divided on an issue than agree on something. It means we have freedom. Freedom of choice, thought, creed, belief, action, and so on. This idea of freedom is pervasive and thought of as an inalienable right.
Because it is. The problem lies when one person’s view of freedom conflicts with another’s. One thinks he/she should be free to shop at a certain store, while another to read certain books in school.
As time moves forward, tolerance is the word that is thrown around the most. Also as we progress, hypocrisy sprouts from tolerance. Tolerance only goes so far in any camp until it encroaches on by another’s freedom. Deep divides occur.
How do we move away from this as a country? How do we practice true freedom while allowing for others to hold different beliefs? I don’t know the answer, and it isn’t really fair of me to point to a problem without a solution.
However, I do have a few ideas. Maybe it’s doing what we can to be kind (not just nice). Maybe it’s communicating our boundaries and their consequences while respecting another’s boundaries (that is called love). Maybe it’s realizing we are responsible for our own actions and their consequences, good and bad.
As we see discord in the nation, maybe we should check ourselves and see what lies within us before we criticize what’s wrong. Are we a part of that? What can we as an individual who has freedom do to make a difference?
That’s the power we were given in the constitution. It goes beyond freedom of choice. It is the freedom of the individual to make choices to change the nation for the betterment of all.