>> Monday, March 1, 2010
The more I listen/read what's going on in this country (the US in case you live somewhere less prone to shouting), the more I'm concerned that the focus on what separates us is blinding us to what holds us together. I firmly believe that the people in this country are not as divisive, are not as far apart on many issues as the media, politicians, and those who seek to manipulate us would like us to believe.
I think most of us, in many walks of life, of varying degrees and forms of faith, of different political flavors, of different educational, cultural and geographical backgrounds as well as different social and economical status, still have a great deal in common, other than the fact we are all, more or less, human beings.
I think we generally want others, even strangers to succeed, be happy and prosper. I think most of us don't want others hurt unnecessarily. I think we generally believe we are stronger as a nation than we would be as an anarchy. I suspect we largely (with a few polarizing exceptions) generally want the same thing for this nation, even if we don't all agree on the best way to get there.
I also believe (because, hey, I'm a dreamer) that there isn't just one way to get there. And, in the interest of moving away from divisiveness, I'd like to focus some attention on what we have in common, ways diverse individuals with vastly contrasting viewpoints are moving down the same path, working toward the same goals.
This week, my goal is to showcase an example every day, at least until Saturday. I've already found three.
Today, I'm going to start with my good friend but frequent critic, especially when it comes to politics, Relax Max. Now Max and I have gone round and round on the healthcare debate. There are many points on reform that we just don't agree with each other on. However, it was brought home to me that that's mostly details. The other day, he wrote a post about what we need in healthcare reform. Reading his bulleted list, I realized that, fundamentally, we both wanted exactly the same thing. We just need to figure out a way to get there. And, neither way we envision it is necessarily wrong. In fact, either one is a vast improvement on where we are now.
How do I know this? Because there are dozens of countries with universal healthcare and they run the spectrum from the government owning everything down to the q-tips to having groups of private insurance provide the services that everyone has to have. There's more than one way to get this done. Whether my way is "best" or RM's way is "best," either way (and probably a dozen more) will get us where we need to be. We've just got to get off our butts and do it.
And stop using our differences as an excuse to do nothing when so many of us agree that something needs to be done.