National Unity

Posted: June 20, 2020 in relationships
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I’m reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I’ve always respected her.

Reading through her story I am reminded the election of Barack in 2008.

I remember being so proud of our country when Barack Obama was elected President of United States. A huge opportunity was presented for uniting us. Whatever your politics, we had elected a black president. And he faced an economic crisis — significant, like the one we are now in — and he had to be there for all of us.

And Michelle, I liked her. She was from the Southside of Chicago and she was a down-to-earth person, a mother, a lawyer, an advocate for women, children and military families. She conducted herself with class.

Reading her book I like her even more. She has character. She has values. She grew and transitioned when she needed to.

In Becoming she writes, “For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”

2020 needs this perspective. What are we becoming, as a nation? And as we go through the pandemic, who are we becoming as a people?

Unfortunately Obama’s presidency didn’t unite us. Many remained opposed to him, and the 2016 election reminded us of that. We divided, right down the middle.

And now as a nation we are entrenched, stuck, holding onto differences and outdated political camps. We need unity more than ever.

What does it look like to evolve into the kind of nation, the kind of people who can accept others who are different? How do we get going on a mission to unite, not divide?

To become united we need to face certain realities. The first is our dependence on each other.

In these times, we are all dependent on each other to wear facemasks. We are dependent on those who have the virus to isolate. We are dependent on doctors and researchers to cure us and protect us. We are dependent upon the government to provide economic stimulus. In short, we are dependent.

We are dependent on each other for survival and we better get used to that because that’s the way it is.. We need each other for safety, for prosperity, for the good life. We need all of us, not half of us.

Secondly, we have been humbled and we need to embrace that. We have been reminded how very vulnerable and weak we humans are. We have taken losses. More than 120,000 of us in the U.S. have died from the virus. Some data shows U.S. employers shed nearly 30 million positions from payrolls this spring as a result of pandemic. Other data suggest layoffs might have topped 40 million. Life is not as stable as we have sometimes imagined. We do well to recognize that.

And finally we must note that we have been reminded at this time that the racial differences in America still divide. Our racial minorities are sick of a different standard being applied to them. They’re sick of abuse. They are done with racial privilege. We need to hear that and change things. To move forward we need to learn to listen to each other, especially when we disagree.

And again this points to the need for unity. Safety lies in all of us keeping all of us safe. It will take a concerted effort by the government and many people to unite.

For those of you who are like myself, Christians, Christian values need to come in to play here. Scripture counsel us not to treat the rich better than the poor, to care for the alien, to live at peace with everyone we can, to love our neighbor as ourselves, to be humble, to count others better than ourselves, and to remember that we are like grass, here today, gone tomorrow.

Are we evolving into better selves?

Are we evolving into a better nation?

We are, only if each one of us is becoming, changing, transitioning to a better, humbler, more willingly dependent — when that is needed — hard-listening self.

Thanks Michelle, for the reminder. We are becoming. What will that be?

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