Build unity through kindness
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