If there is one thing that most in this country can agree on, regardless of politics, race, gender or social status is that our country seems to be divided. There have always been differences but since the development and domination of social media the message that seems to be spread in an instant is an “us against them” attitude. This is not one political party’s fault or any candidate. It is the fault of all of us. We as Americans have allowed this happen, have participated in its growth and have done little to stop it. We watch the Politicians, News Channels, Social Media, Celebrities and anyone with a following express anger, vulgarity and mean accusations about those that don’t fit into their particular personal beliefs. No longer do people talk about differences without adding some kind of negative adjective to describe those they don’t agree with. There was a small respite of this Division post 9/11 but soon, and with a vengeance, the country started taking sides. However, when we stop, listen and discuss we realize that for the most part we are on the same side..the side of Being an American, and for most of us we also believe that we are All Children of God. We are a stronger Nation when we focus on our similarities and what we have in common as opposed to what we disagree on. These next few weeks before the Mid-Term Election will no doubt be filled with a barrage of negativity from candidates, from the media and from anyone that has a platform to reach a wide variety of people. I Say, Enough! Anyone that cannot talk about an opponent or individual with differing beliefs without using derogatory words, accusations or vulgarity should consider themselves as The Problem and just stop. If Average Americans set the example than politicians that want to represent us and the media that wants to report to us must follow our agenda, not the other way around. Let’s make kindness and respect the norm and not the exception. Stop Blaming and Start Talking. #AllOneAmerica
It was a Tuesday morning 17 years ago when The United States of America changed. Our country was attacked, many lives lost, and the effects of that day will continue to be felt in many ways for generations to come. I remember attending the first Big Ten Football game post 9/11. It seemed all of us in the stands were a little nervous, being in a stadium with 70,000 + people and what could have been a target of another attack. When the National Anthem started we all rose, put our hand over our heart and listened to the words. By the end there was probably not a dry eye in the stadium. Then something else happened, people began to hug each other. It wasn’t about our personal beliefs, our political differences or anything else that makes each of us uniquely individual but rather what brings us together as Americans..We were all proud that day, proud of what we were standing for, proud of what our country has meant. Remembering all the lives that were recently lost and all those that had been lost since our founding days. For the next few months flag pins, cars with flags and American Patriotism took the lead in conversations, in politics, and in the media. We were, One Nation Under GOD. As the months past, the attitude of that day and the immediate aftermath began to change. Division started to grow and instead of looking at each other as Fellow Americans with some different ideas and opinions it became an “us against them” attitude. If we can each remember how we felt in the Fall of 2001 maybe we won’t need another tragedy to come together but instead be a stronger nation because of what we have in common instead of focusing on our differences.
Lee Greenwood’s lyrics resonate now as much as they did then..
“And I’m proud to be an American Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the ones who died who gave that right to me
And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA.”
Yes, teachers should be paid what they are worth. It is one of the most important professions and vital to the future of our country. The teachers that are dedicated to teaching and care about student development along with challenging our youth to be the best they can be should be paid with a pay scale equivalent to what corporations pay executives because that is what they are. They are executives of a classroom. They manage between 30 and 150 students a day. They develop lessons, create evaluations and are responsible for getting their students to meet a particular standard among many other responsibilities they have. Let’s not forget to mention having to do this while dealing with discipline issues, students that don’t show up and other factors that would cause a business executive to quit within 3 months. Let alone an executive that does not see opportunity to make a decent wage in time. The small percentage of teachers that are burned out, waiting for “something better” or like to project their own political/social or other biases into the classroom need to be removed. Tenure does not exist in business and should not in the classroom. However, teachers should not strike or walk out during a school year. It hurts the students and causes other issues. Let’s fix the Education system as a priority and make teaching a profession that attracts the cream of the crop for an entire career and allow them to earn what they deserve. The future of our country depends on it.
I am writing this because I am sad…today more innocent lives were taken from us. My sadness is not about politics, guns or differences on what laws and regulations should and shouldn’t be. We were reminded today that far too many people in this country are angry, feel alone, have mental illness and carry so much hatred in their heart that perpetrating such a horrendous and evil act is becoming more common today than ever before in our history. We shy away from discussions on what has happened to our society and what factors are causing more and more individuals to lose their conscience and choose to hurt others. We are seeing a trend of many that are overcome with so much anger that they no longer can think rationally and choose actions which are pure evil. Over the last 10 years we have seen an increase in suicides as well as acts that have caused mass harm to many. Whether it be guns, cars, knives, fists etc. that are used as a weapon our society has shifted and the result has penetrated the psyche of many individuals that were born with love in their heart but learned to hate and be angry towards the society in which they are a part of. I don’t have the answers but I do know we, as a nation, need to be asking different questions and looking for different solutions. The innocent lives that were lost today as well as all of the victims of the past should not be in vain. We must change our culture, we must change our society, and we must find a way to reduce the anger and hate before it becomes the predominant force of our Nation. Praying!