“This is America … here, right matters.” Probably by the time this column is published this phrase will have hit the top of the hour highlights, then fade into obscurity due to a myriad of other breaking news and information that has taken its place. 

More’s the pity. As with most people, I’ve had to inure myself to the hourly-daily onslaught of unbelievable situations we find our country mired in. If we didn’t try to mitigate or tune some of it out, there wouldn’t be enough rubber rooms to house us all. 

Regardless which side of the aisle you reside, whether there is an R or D after your name on your voter registration card, or where you choose to obtain your news and-or information, all of us need to pay attention to this brief, succinct statement. 

“This is America … here, right matters.” I think most of us have neglected to remember this. Maybe before we find ourselves looking over our shoulder as this experiment called the United States of America fades into obscurity led by a few, but followed blindly by many, we should re-evaluate our complicity.

America. The name conjures up a lot of different feelings and emotions in people. Maybe we’re all residing in our own little bubble of unreality as we try to put a square peg in a round hole, constantly being frustrated and upset. We forget that America has been an idea from the beginning. Like ground beef, fish or chicken in the grocery store – America didn’t miraculously appear wrapped in cellophane, all neat and tidy. It’s been messy. 

This idea has gone down many roads, encountered numerous speed bumps, detours, blind spots, and just plain dumb-ass mistakes. The why is both simple and complex … human beings. We’re a motley bunch, us Homosapiens. Look at the variety that inhabits this small orb called Earth. Margaret Thatcher wisely said one time that “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” 

It’s too bad those of us fortunate to be born here have let the awareness of that simple fact wane in our consciousness. Two hundred plus years separate us from the how, what, when and where of our nascence. We’ve become lazy, uninterested, greedy and unforgiving. Our thirst for instant gratification means we don’t take the time to think about the ideas that lead to both the extravagance of stuff and the simultaneous dearth of compassion and generosity. We’re more interested in what someone is wearing or who they are dating than we are in our own fragile humanity. We don’t see our neighbor without judging. I’m not sure we see our neighbor at all anymore. 

I am guilty of thinking too much. There is much outside my control. But I can control how I see and view those next to me. I can remember the idea of America and live it the best I can. I can remember that here, right matters; or at least it used to. Maybe it will again.

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.” -Joseph Stalin

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