United As We Continue Standing Up For Our Rights
I remember watching the news reels on the Internet from the alternative media (I don’t waste time with cable TV) with much admiration last year as the political turmoil unfolded in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and later Libya, with all the people taking to the streets for their rights and their freedom. It stirs my heart to see all those throngs of people united in one purpose, coming up against an overwhelming established authority, and all without any weapons. All of these ongoing revolutions were accomplished without any more than minimal bloodshed, and were largely peaceful. It is very good that so many people were set free by rising up against established authority and taking charge of one’s destiny. This is how real change is brought about and this is how revolution is brought forth by those persons bold enough to take what freedom is rightfully theirs.
Watching those events unfolding on live TV caused me to compare what was happening in Egypt and all those other places in North Africa and the Middle East to what had happened during the American Revolution during the formation of the original colonies. The primary difference between the American Revolution and the Egyptian uprising was the addition of guns into the mix. The modern-day Egyptian protesters didn’t have guns – and didn’t need them, as it turned out. This evokes the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the ultimate peaceful campaigner for civil rights. His advocacy of non-violent social change and the civil rights legacy that he left behind are irreplaceable. And I also believe that same legacy is based on that of Moses who so famously told yet another Egyptian leader to “let my people go”.
The same thing has since happened in America, as you all know, with the blossoming of the Occupy and 99% Movements. This loosely organized political dissension is gradually congealing into something more, growing into something far more substantial. The economic state of the populations of Egypt and America are similar, with high unemployment, rampant homelessness and crime. The inordinate concentration of wealth, combined with its use as a weapon to pollute and corrupt government and politics, runs rampant in both countries. America is most certainly ripe for revolution, given the state of the middle and working classes in this country, the lack of jobs, the lack of affordable housing, and the rising cost of food and fuel. We are rapidly headed for third world status as a country here in the US when it comes to the standard of living of the blue and white collar classes, otherwise known as “we the people”, combined with the unfair, unethical concentration of wealth that is tantamount to an undeclared economic civil war. There can be no doubt that we are going to have to unite together as a people to stop this great robbery that is happening right up in our faces each and every day so we can take back our country.
Actually, the far-left and the far-right have more in common then they would want to admit. Both sides are absolutist in their ideology and uncompromising in their politics. Each side believes that they possess absolute truth and each side refuses to compromise on its beliefs. This is like a poison flowing through the body politic of America and it will cripple our democracy unless each of us acts as an antidote. Otherwise this kind of childish selfishness and narrow-minded stereotyping threatens to tear the fabric of America apart.
What is particularly troubling in today’s political environment is the level of anger and even outright hatred that is being displayed by all sides. I have been trying to figure out the source of this anger and hatred for some time now. Some of today’s rabid emotionalism can be traced to old-fashioned racism but I think for many people it goes much deeper than that. It would appear that this anger and hatefulness is really a response to the fear of change. Fear is an emotion we don’t like in ourselves and anger is a way of covering up our fears with an emotion that makes us feel more powerful. We live in a world where society, technology, the economy and demographics are rapidly changing and this change is deeply threatening to many people. They are frightened that the world they have known is disappearing. Such people have not yet discovered the simple key to letting go of their fear, which is to believe and have faith that God is in charge of everything, combined with understanding that if we will just let go and let God, He will cause all things to work out well, as it is written, “All things work to the glory of God for those who love Him”. God is always there for you, as it is written and uttered by Jesus Himself, “Never will I leave you, and never will I forsake you.” So He isn’t going to let anything happen to you, and it would be to the benefit of anyone reading these words to rest assured about this and stop worrying. (For additional perspective on what Jesus said about worrying, read Matthew chapter six.)
If we want American democracy to survive, we need to grow up and wise up. We need to stop projecting our fears onto other people, and we need to let go of our childhood fears and insecurities. We need to stop yelling at each other and learn to start listening to each other. We need to replace competition with cooperation, and we need to first learn self-respect as an important step toward acquiring mutual respect. Only when this has been done can a new economic system be born, one based on resourcefulness and cooperation instead of outmoded concepts like profit for the sake of financial gain. We need to accept the reality of change and begin working together to find productive ways of dealing with a world that is constantly changing. Besides, the fact is that America is built upon compromise. Our great experiment in democracy is founded upon the belief that each issue has many sides and that the most workable solution comes from a compromise that blends together many disparate views. Compromise is the glue that holds America together.
Change is inevitable. It’s the way the universe is constructed. The fact that time exists means that change must occur. Rather than fear change, we need to make it work for our benefit. Rather than trying to go back to the past, we need to work together to create a better future. If the American experiment is going to grow and mature, we the people have to grow and mature. We have to put our irrational fears behind us and start working together as mature adults in order to deal successfully with the challenges that change presents to us.
It’s time to stop the name-calling and to start having rational discussions about the issues before us. It’s time to turn away from those in the media and on the Internet who feed our fears and fuel our hatred. It’s time to start respecting each other as fellow Americans. Each of us must stand up for a fundamental American truth—united we stand, divided we fall. As Americans we must stand together. We must reject the anger and hatefulness that is dividing us and start using our common sense to work together for the common good