Toward A Stronger America

The sorrows and shame of recent days are not unexpected or isolated in the American experience.  However, they rise now on the crest of a wave of fear and agitation, sharp reflections of extreme and intensifying social and economic pain.

We have arrived at a turning point.  Mean-spirited hostility and irrational violence challenge us to refocus our identity as Americans.  We have much to learn about seeking grace in the midst of trouble.

Recovering a future we can respect and believe in will not be easy.  Numerous emerging crises imperil an already fragile social order.  The coming years will call on each of us for courage and fortitude.

Perhaps most challenging, local community safety and resilience necessitate working together despite our diversity.  Meeting locally shared needs will be the priority in the face of severe crises.

Rising above our differences may seem an overwhelming obstacle, but I do not believe we have a choice.

A strong America will only be possible with sufficient unity to enable social stability and good governance.  And, unity can only be found with patience, forbearance, and a positive attitude – personal qualities that can best be locally grown.

Along with these qualities, communities need members with diverse practical skills, knowledge and experience.  There will be no security without working relationships that are trustworthy and dependable.

The qualities and skills we need to survive in the present may prove constructive as we move toward the future.  A right attitude for dealing with an immediate crisis will probably be the right attitude for working with one another to shape our destiny as a nation.

There will be no effective means for moving forward without a commitment to collaborate.  The ends we wish to achieve will be determined by the means we use to reach them.

This is not theory, but reality.

An honest consultative process, with ends and means in harmony, will gather and further develop the best ideas.  Positive change comes with fully inclusive citizen engagement.

Americans can do this.  The energy of citizens working in well-organized communities will generate a pattern that will prevail over time.  A resilient future will reflect the strength gained from lessons learned.

Regular readers know I will not prescribe political solutions.  Rather, I will suggest ground rules for collaboration and decision-making, and identify topics for dialog and consultation that can allow a truly American vision to emerge from the rich soil we have inherited from the past.

In addition to the difficulties we face in meeting local needs, we are also confronted with looming structural changes in the social economy and the wider world.  Community-building for survival is only the first step.

Unity of purpose can benefit from an accurate understanding of what is happening in the wider world.  However, distorted information and periods of confusion are inevitable.  Safety and stability is most important and will depend on steady hands – holding firmly to ethical principle and moral responsibility as individuals and as communities, wherever we find ourselves.

The clear thinking needed to overcome the threat of social disintegration can only come from citizens who understand trust, responsibility, and constructive action.  The stakes are very high.

Americans disagree often; we are a contentious lot.  Yet, our strength comes through a diversity that broadens our perspective, knowledge, and skills – and through our readiness to rise above our differences to build an open, free-spirited society.

Ultimately, the Constitution of the United States is essential as the anchor for safety.  The future depends on it.  And, the re-emergence of a healthy civil society will restore balance and character to the vision that sustains us.

The day will come when Americans will be known again for our generosity of spirit.  The pattern of the future will emerge from the learning we acquire as we struggle to conquer the challenges of this great turning point.


A note to regular readers:  Please watch for the next post on or about November 14.  I would appreciate your comments.  I value your feedback!

2 thoughts on “Toward A Stronger America

  1. As usual a thought provoking article! I agree with your over view and am struggling to build relationships and trust in my local neighborhood. That is as challenging as I can handle at this time but I agree that true change begins at this level. Working with at risk children I have believed that you change things one child at a time!


  2. As I have mentioned before, I live in a small rural community. For the most part the people in this community have a spirit of unity particularly in the face of tragedy or misfortune.

    For example, If a family has a house fire & loose all of their belongings, someone close to the Family will post on Social Media the items needed. People within the Community will donate furniture, kitchen items, clothing in appropriate sizes etc.

    A Church or other group will organize a Spaghetti dinner or other Community meal as a fund raiser. People will donate the food, the community as a group will attend & pay the suggested donation or more, others will donate items for a Chinese Auction or Raffle to make money & all of the money collected is donated to the Family in need.

    Sometimes it will be a Family with a devestating illness or someone who has had a devestating accident with insurmountable Healthcare bills. Whatever the need our local Communities rise to the occasion.

    I am lucky to live in such a wonderful Community. People consider their friends as family. We work together for the Greater good of each other & in particular we help the down trodden.

    This is not just an everyday free ride for those who are lazy & make no attempt to support themselves. It is how we pull together in a Crisis.


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