Build unity through kind­ness

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Maybe it’s be­cause I was brought up dur­ing a time when things were dif­fer­ent and ex­pec­ta­tions were higher that I get an­gered at the acts of civil dis­obe­di­ence, lack of re­spect for oth­ers, de­struc­tion of other’s prop­erty and will­ful vi­o­lence. Maybe it’s be­cause I was raised as a Chris­tian to love one an­other and help oth­ers — love the per­son, not the be­hav­ior.

Maybe it’s be­cause I was a Girl Scout and learned to re­spect God and coun­try — to leave things bet­ter than I found them. Maybe it’s be­cause I was held re­spon­si­ble for my ac­tions and ac­cepted my con­se­quences that I don’t blame oth­ers for my be­hav­ior or sit­u­a­tions.

Maybe it’s be­cause I re­spect- ed my body and didn’t want to harm it that I used self-con­trol and com­mon sense in so­cial sit­u­a­tions. Maybe it’s be­cause I wasn’t pop­u­lar that I am hum­bled. Maybe it’s be­cause my fam­ily was in the lower mid­dle-class that I ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing I get and take noth­ing for granted. Maybe it’s be­cause I had to work for ev­ery­thing I got that I take care of things. Maybe it’s be­cause my father grew up dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion that I de­vel­oped a good work ethic from him and learned how to be thrifty. Maybe it’s be­cause I was a teacher that I learned one must be flex­i­ble and able to ac­cept change — not to com­plain un­less I had a work­able, fair so­lu­tion.

Maybe it’s be­cause I am now a grand­mom and have had some close-call med­i­cal in­ci­dents that I care so much about the fu­ture of fam­ily, friends and our coun­try in which my grand­chil­dren will live. I want them to feel safe. I want them to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence daily life with­out fear of fel­low Amer­i­cans hold­ing up traf­fic, sur­round­ing their car and scar­ing them, van­dal­iz­ing their homes, or rob­bing or killing them be­cause of a protest (most Amer­i­cans don’t do this, but it’s al­ways the “few who ruin things for the rest”). Also, the First Amend­ment says “... the right of the peo­ple to peace­fully as­sem­ble ... ”

I want them to ex­pe­ri­ence joy, not vi­o­lence. I want them to learn to love and ac­cept oth­ers, not hate and spew prej­u­dice. I want them to know that they can love peo­ple who are dif­fer­ent than them, but they don’t have to ac­cept bad things that they do. It’s hard to ex­plain to a young child about some of the bad things in the world when he asks ques­tions. I want my grand­kids to have hope and se­cu­rity. I want them to have food on the ta­ble, a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and a safe place to live. I want them to be able to play out­side and en­joy na­ture, clean wa­ter and fresh air. I want them to be able to see dif­fer­ent places and peo­ple who live in these United States. I want them to have a giv­ing spirit about them. This is pos­si­ble with co­op­er­a­tion.

Let’s stop think­ing about our­selves and con­sider work­ing to­gether with oth­ers — start­ing with those around you at home, work, church, teams, etc. Love one an­other. Pray for our lead­ers, our coun­try and the world. We are Amer­i­cans — let’s unite in our diver­sity (we still are a “melt­ing pot” of cul­tures) and stop feel­ing sorry for our­selves when things don’t go our way. Change must start with each per­son — with me and you. Let’s build unity through kind­ness and re­spect for the peo­ple and land so we can be known as a strong, lov­ing, car­ing, trust­wor­thy, re­spect­ful, re­spon­si­ble na­tion — a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple to the world once more. Joan P. Rush, White Plains

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