We are entering a new year with a new President coming into office during one of our Nation’s most trying times in over a century. We look forward in hope and fear with anticipation and trepidation in equal measure. There is much that has happened throughout our history and more still to come. I do not know what the speeches will say or what their key points will be, but this is my view and it seems accurate from what we have all seen in the last decade.
Most of the time, as with any large group, there are two sides with one thinking they are correct. This only leads to division, as it has done. We each struggle for one thing or another and sometimes pull together in a singular direction. We have obvious issues and it is tearing us apart at the seams. The only thing we do agree on, for the most part, is that we disagree.
This has crept in over time and it is sad to see. Our nation was founded on freedom of religion and those moral principles. Some like to argue that equals freedom from religion, and perhaps they have a point. But denying those beliefs, or one’s rights because of one’s beliefs, is a dangerous road to tread.
It’s all about me. What can I get. Why are your rights and opinions more important than mine. Freedom of speech only applies to a few, apparently, and if I disagree with those few—it’s wrong. Community requires unity, which we are lacking.
We all have our own opinions but that doesn’t mean they are fact. When one’s thoughts infringe upon another one’s ideals, someone must be right. Right? I believe opinions are a good thing. It shows a person has the ability to think for themselves and judge situations, people, or topics accordingly. That does not mean our opinions are always correct though.
N. Not Equal
Yes, I cheated and used two words. But it is true. Equality has never been a real thing. The ideal of it, certainly, but never in practice. It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, the size of your waist, or the amount of money you make. We are not equal through no fault of our own, yet by our own hands.
The simple fact is that we are not a union, but an onion. Each layer of an onion protects the next and adds flavor no matter how thick or thin, big or small. When you reach the center of an onion(the last layer), there is only the ugly bit that no one wants to eat. If you burn it, or continue to peel it, the protective layers above each disappears and all that is left is the part no one wants. So let’s try again.
We are, each of us, a member of a melting pot. It doesn’t matter where our families originated. If we are citizens of The United States of America then we are one body. Our opinions, ideals, motivations and beliefs may differ but we are a member of a collective group. We must remember that and work as one toward a greater common goal which is the ideal this nation was founded on.
We are a nation united. This ties directly into the sense of oneness we all share. We are Americans of The United States. Living in a different state or community does not change the fact that we share this bond. Even coming from a different country doesn’t change this. If you have moved here and become a legal citizen, you are the same as the largest portion of this nation.
We are founded on independence, or freedom if you will. Being free to think what we want, believe what we want, and speak what we want is at the core of our nation. A war was fought for our independence. More were fought because of our belief in what we were founded on—freedom. But just because we are independent in some ways does not mean we are not dependent in others. We rely on each other for many different things. We are free to do so much because of our national oneness.
We are obligated to abide by the laws of our community, state, and nation. We are obligated to respect each other. We are obligated to protect our freedoms and each other. We are obligated to speak our minds when things are not right and try to correct whatever injustices may be occurring. We are obligated to One Nation Under God.
This is what is left when all those layers above disappear.
Travis Todd is a member of Sand Springs Baptist Church, a married father of two, and is a resident of Chunky.