That America we knew and loved? It's still here
It's kind of sad how many people find themselves asking, "Where did the America I knew and loved go?" The reason so many are asking that is because of what is put before our eyes every day: a nation without any but the most superficial values. An America supposedly full of selfishness and small thinking. Of cheap laughter and an even cheaper culture. Of broken families and broken lives. And especially (it seems to me) a lack of real leadership. There is no one (we are repeatedly told) we can trust.
But here is what I have realized – I, and, I know, many, many others, some who realized this far more quickly than I did – that the America we loved still exists. Not just here and there – mere smatterings, holdouts – but virtually everywhere.
People with values. People with depth. People quietly going about their lives in a way that reveals that the "old" America is far from dead. It is living. It is breathing. It is being passed along.
The reason we may not quickly or easily see this is because we have been taught to look not with our own eyes, but through the eyes of others. The coastal media. The bigmouths on TV and, yes, on the internet.
And such people – this is worth noting! – rarely even pretend to be looking at the nation about us. Instead, they spend their days quoting one another.
If you listen to "news" or read opinion pages, take note of this: how much time and space are being used by the same few people quoting and arguing with each other? As if their voices, and only their voices, mattered?
That is why some who actually think and speak for themselves talk and write about an "echo chamber." It's almost as if there is just one voice speaking. On and on and on. Endlessly. "He said he said that he said..." Then take note of how different the country they see is from the one you and I see with our own eyes. Not just occasionally, but each and every day.
If you'll allow the semi-jest...how many little boys do you see who want to wear a dress?
How many people you know want to do any of the things those voices repeatedly tell us everyone is wanting to do?
I'll bet that in many cases, the answer is none.
On the other hand, how many people do you see with your own eyes who have real "traditional" values about the goodness of hard work? That value accomplishment? That care for their families? That care about other people? Yes, all other people, without the supposed distrusts and divisions and narrow-minded hate that those loud voices tell us are common among us?
America lives. It lives in us.
America has a future. Because of us – and the many, many millions more just like us in the ways that really matter.
We're not gone. We're here.
They can't see us because they do not want to see us. Nor do they want us to see ourselves. For who we are. For what we believe in.
And frankly, that is exactly what has those loud few so frightened. Us. You and me. And that is what makes them so desirous of making us turn inward so that we will not see one-another. And realize our power.
America is still here. They can kill it only if we let them.
(And again frankly, I think it is for them too late.)
Enough of us know.
Enough of us see.
Enough of us care about all this and are speaking out.
Welcome back, America! Yes, even if in fact you never really went away.