A Nation Torn: Healing the Great Divide

A Nation Torn: Healing the Great Divide

These past two years have been riddled with strife and violence. Relationships are deteriorating, spouses are separating, neighbors are fighting and friends are refusing to speak to one another due to contrasting political views. Individuals are attacking others in the streets, at grocery stores and in their schools because of skin color, foreign accents or religious beliefs. Senators and congressmen from differing political parties are enemies. The leader of the country says that a congressman body-slamming reporters is his kind of man. Republican leaders are shot at during a softball game. Democrat leaders are receiving pipe bombs in the mail and the media is being designated “the enemy of the people.”

Our nation is torn. People are becoming more divided by the day. It’s as though our country is going through a nasty divorce and no one gives a damn about the welfare of its children. Sadly, if the people in this nation forget how to be amicable, the repercussions will last for generations.

Regardless, though, of what our leaders choose to do or not do, the reality is that “we the people” have the power to do things differently. We the people, can refuse to buy into or play along with provocative rhetoric. We the people, can choose to love our neighbors as ourselves. We can choose to stand up for one another when someone is being attacked, shamed or discriminated against. We have the power to refuse to chant, “Build a wall” or “Lock her up”—even if we support the party who started these chants.

We the people have the power to stand up against violence on both sides. When Republicans are shot at their softball game, Rise Up—even if you are angry with Republicans. When Antifa makes their stand through violence, Rise Up—even if you support the Democrat Party. When pipe bombs are mailed to leaders, Rise Up—even if you dislike those leaders. Every time Americans spew hate or attack immigrants, Rise Up—even if you don’t support immigration.

We the people have the power to fight like hell for the safety, equality and respect of all human beings. Take a stand against intolerance. Remember your humanity. Honor the humanity of others. Stop laughing when others cheer on body slamming, mocking or threatening others—even if the person doing these things is the President of the United States and you love him.

Stand up for humanity for the sake of humanity.

It’s time that we the people get back to being humane people. It’s time we all practice the skills of healthy disagreement and hold those around us and our leaders accountable to do the same. Healthy disagreement entails:
• Removing all forms of aggression from any and all interactions.
• Removing the negative energy of contempt from your communication with others or about others.
• Sticking to arguing about facts rather than character.
• Not using the poor behaviors of others to excuse your own.
• Standing up to poor treatment—toward yourself and toward others.
• Not justifying, condoning, taking part in or being complicit in inciting violence—with your threats, chants, language or actions.
• Respecting all human beings equally, as you would want them to respect you.

There was a time in our nation when neighbors could disagree and still have a beer together. For decades, our government leaders could have vastly different views on the direction our country should take, yet still be able to forge a mutual agreement. Not long ago, our country fought for the freedom of the press and reporters could report tough stories without fearing for their lives.

We are losing our way and the farther apart we become, the more difficult it becomes to find our way back. We the people have the power to find our way back. Stand up against hate. Step in to help those attacked. Speak out against the instigating rhetoric and stop painting an entire group of people as bad, dangerous or evil. We are all human beings and it’s time we remember our humanity. It’s time we all raise the bar.

Challenge: Refuse to vote for anyone, on either side, who stirs up hate and violence toward anyone. Step up when a human being is mocking, attacking or harming another human being in any way—as you would hope others would stand up for you. Find your Grounded Powerful Strength. Rise Up with strength, respect and determination. Our country needs it.