Vol. III No. 23 12/1/2022
Editorial: We the People
I am not sure why, but we are expected to say something profound at holiday time. From Thanksgiving to Chanukah to Christmas and New Year's Eve we are supposed to think up, polish up, and roll out our very best thoughts. Okay here goes.
Reports of the division in this country are greatly exaggerated.
We all look at Rockwell paintings and love what we see — a community at Christmastime - a family around the Thanksgiving dinner table — children's baseball. We look and our hearts swell. It is what we all want; the things we are thankful for — health, a happy family, good friends, and a caring community.
When a friend was sick, a neighbor brought her soup. She returned the tureen washed and filled with flowers from her garden. The majority is nice. The majority appreciates simple kindness.
A child saw a dollar bill float out of a woman's pocket. The child picked it up, tugged her sleeve, and returned the dollar. The majority teaches its children to be decent.
I received a letter saying I was wrong when I wrote, "we are the majority." The writer assumed I was a Democrat and I meant Democrats are the majority. He said the majority of voters are Independents. He was right in his conclusion and wrong in his assumption. I am a registered Independent. Even so, I did not mean Independents. I meant decent people are the majority.
We appreciate kindness; it is what makes us happy. We need decency; it is what we understand. We engage in debate and eschew violence. We are drawn to kindly folk and repel the nasty. We are not so divided as reported; we agree on the basics.
Sometimes decent folks lose. People come among us who make wrong-doing look attractive. People so preoccupied with caring about themselves that they have no time to care about others. People who bully us and tell us it is okay to bully others. We know that's wrong. We know if cruelty is rationalized against "them" today, it can be rationalized against "us" tomorrow.
We don't always stand firm and stare down the bully. As children we may cower or cry. As adults, we may walk away and say, "it's not worth it". Still, we know right from wrong. We dislike harsh division and recognize the dividers. We were all taught the same playground rules - play nice, share, no name-calling, don't hit — reports of the division in this country are greatly exaggerated.
Castle of our Skins collective performing November 27, 2022 at The Linde Learning Institute. Photo: Lionel Delevingne