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Blatchford: We spend too much time worrying about our differences rather than our similarities | COMMENTARY

About a week ago, a local columnist offered a piece concerning his discomfort with Republican positions on the so-called infrastructure bill. Just prior to that, a very regular letter writer contributed yet another diatribe in which he reminded us, once again, of his dislike, distrust and distaste for anything Republican. This individual provides his seemingly endless vitriol on virtually a monthly basis. A few years ago (he’s been at it that long) I suggested that he take a conservative to lunch. Hopefully, I didn’t inadvertently endanger a fellow conservative. Regardless, it seems that people on the right give him heartburn. These, and other similar offerings, all around the Easter weekend caused me to wonder. Will we ever again become “One Nation under God?”

Now, in full disclosure, I’m certain that there are a goodly number of readers who are right now thinking that this sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. Right? Lord knows that I’m not adverse to offering an opinion. However, I would like to think that my offerings do not evidence such animosity as is so often encountered.

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I wonder if these highly passionate writers ever tire of the controversy as do I. Divisiveness and animosity appear to be growing. Should anyone doubt that I would prefer a more peaceful coexistence, let me clarify.

Although I tend toward Christian beliefs (The “do unto others…” and “treat your neighbor as yourself…”), I make no claim to being a good practitioner thereof. As one example, I’ve always had a problem with the “turn the other cheek” concept. I recall a discussion with a cousin when she was advocating that belief. I explained that I did not agree with that one. In my experience, a person who gets smacked (#1) and turns the other cheek (#2) is going to get smacked again (#3). My natural inclination is to avoid #3 by ignoring #2 and acting (in some fashion) to discourage the perpetrator of #1.

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Anyway, acknowledging certain imperfections, I would still prefer that we all just get along. I, also, believe that people can disagree without being disagreeable. I’ve seen it done and lived it. So many, these days, seem so intent on attempting to demean those harboring differing opinions. They seem to reject the philosophy of mutual respect.

So, what is it that brings us to where we are in today’s world? Where went the “united we stand, divided we fall” belief or acceptance of the opinions of others? Perhaps it involves people who remind us that “we’re all in this together” regarding one subject or another but abandon that frame of mind given a change of subjects.

Perhaps excessive diversity is a problem. Diversity has been promoted by many politicians. They’ve said that it’s the American way, or as some would put it, “It’s who we are.” After diversification promotion was well underway, too many people began to accentuate the differences instead of similarities. Then came divisiveness. Now that we’ve all been categorized and pigeonholed, they promote the differences which tends to keep us from uniting.

Some have suggested that this intentional move was to prevent the populace from uniting against today’s royalty – politicians. This is likely a subject unto itself, but there are other facets to our internal turmoil. Think about this one. As time marches on, the amount of diversity that we have “achieved” is directly proportional to the amount of divisiveness that has been created. Just a thought, not a position — yet.

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A rich and fertile ground for division is, of course, race. In addition to Martin Luther King, Jr., I’ve found a fella named Morgan Freeman who exhibits an overabundance of wisdom and common sense. And forgive me if I’ve written of this before, but I’ve found Freeman’s idea an almost perfect solution — if only people would listen.

Freeman was interviewed by Mike Wallace who asked him “How are we gonna get rid of racism?” Freeman responded without hesitation “Stop talking about it.” He continued, “I’m gonna stop calling you a white man, and I’m gonna ask you to stop calling me a Black man.” How perfect is that? This approach can/should be applied to every race.

Regarding Morgan Freeman’s quote, don’t just read past it. Think about it. Read it again. Ponder it. His words contain the wisdom of simplicity. How different would it be if politicians, the media and the rabble rousers just dropped the subject instead of incessant stirrin’?

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. His column runs every other Tuesday. Reach him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

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