I’ve never been good at taking sides. I’m no good at “Us and them.”
Back in the day, advertisers encouraged us to choose Pepsi or Coke. I never had a strong preference.
I’m not a big sports fan, so you won’t find me bad mouthing one team over another.
In high school my closest friends were scattered in different groups. So no cliques for me. I was the one explaining everyone to the others.
I really hate presidential primaries. They make me pick a party to choose a candidate, but in my heart, I’m an independent.
I do have a huge streak of loyalty. If you have won my friendship, it will take a lot for me to give you up. Heck, I have trouble changing hair stylists.
So this dichotomy is what makes me a patriotic American who sees the need for improvement.
The election season was especially bad at drawing lines between us and them. There were those fearful of immigrants and those who called the fearful people xenophobes. There were those who valued policy over image, on both sides, as well as those who valued image over policy. There were those who wanted to turn time back twenty years to an age when manufacturing jobs were available and those who ignored those needs. There were those who wanted to make things better for the next generation, but none of them agreed on the best way to do it. There were those who said that everyone has rights and those who felt that maintaining their own way of life was more important than any single person’s rights. There were those who believed in the story told by extreme right wing media and those who looked for the facts and dismissed the power of that right wing media. Ironically even the parties divided themselves into us and them, changing the party platform on each side, one to “Keep them out” and the other to “Make it free.” We seem to be splitting further into us and them and them and them.
Of course I have a stance on all these issues. But I draw the line at splitting myself off from the people who believe differently or have a different culture than my own. There is no them. There is only us and we need to keep trying to get better.
If you are reading this, I’m making an assumption. You are a literate human somewhere in the world. I wish that we could see ourselves and others first as humans, before we draw the lines between us and them. I wish that we would try to see the world from the point of view of another.