Where are we going? Part I

Our nation is divided by political parties, even in spite of many issues on which we agree (http://www.people-press.org/2016/06/22/partisanship-and-political-animosity-in-2016/). We have started arguing and distrusting the positive impact of education (http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharp-partisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/). We have labeled certain religions as threatening and are trying to close our borders. We are even now hearing of states wanting to split into separate states (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/19/are-some-states-headed-for-splitsville-movement-grows-to-allow-sections-states-to-break-away.html). All of these decisions and positions are predicated on fear and anger. Fear that someone different than us will influence or affect us unduly and anger that others won’t do things our way.

Do I understand the position? I do. By definition, if it is our belief that life is best lived a certain way, we live it that way and certainly hope, and even expect, that others will too. I mean, if it’s the best, of course we want everyone to act and live this way! The rebuttal of course is that the best life for one is rarely the best life for another. But it is incredibly difficult for any of us to see things from other peoples’ points of view. I mean, let’s face it, we’re busy enough with our own issues, we don’t have time to take on others’ as well. But in this case, it may not only be beneficial to do so, it may be necessary.

The implications of such splitting are extensive. Sen. Rubio delivered a long commentary on the Senate floor recently that discusses why civil discord is not only beneficial to our nation but it is an absolute necessity for our Governmental leadership (https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/fighting-for-florida?ID=EAD03BA3-8E8A-482C-8884-7A67C86672C8). I would add that I believe this extends to us, the American people. Why?

The strongest, most effective teams are made of a diverse group of people.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about business, military, education, or politics – when we consider multiple points of view, we have the best chance of finding the right answer to solve any problem. When everyone agrees on an idea, a path, or a plan, the “group think” mentality rules and everyone feels confident in the answer. Sadly, reality is that they likely feel overconfident because at all times, the team that considers multiple perspectives and multiple solutions will have the greatest variety of choices and ultimately, and consistently, dominate.

Have we lost sight as a nation that diversity and creativity are our country’s greatest assets?

When a country is ruled by a dominating individual, that country is only as good as that one person’s best ideas. If the person is particularly brilliant, they will have good ideas, better than most in fact – but will always fail ultimately against a team of brilliance. If the ruling person or party is particularly gifted in manipulation, they will succeed in convincing many of their heightened skills and ideas – whether or not they are true. But again, ultimately, they will be beat by teams of brilliance – especially those with the freedom of creativity in their process.

As a nation….we absolutely must come together, unify, and value the differences in our people. If we do not, we become our own worst enemy, our biggest adversary. And we are better than that – we are the UNITED States – we must always remember.

“A Nation divided against itself cannot stand…” Lincoln

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