There’s plenty of dissection going on regarding the daily splitting of the United States, and there’s no shortage of theories: parenting, smart phones, video games, biased news, public school indoctrination, moral decay, pop culture, removal of God, etc.
Obviously, it’s not just one thing, but probably a mix of all the above, plus factors not even considered. But what’s the path back?
I think three key ingredients we’re missing are grace, empathy, and perspective.
Without grace, we can’t forgive, and that’s the foundation of cancel culture. Cancel culture is all about finding one transgression in one’s past – usually an errant tweet, email, interview clip, or blog post – and then exposing them as publicly as possible with the intent of making sure that person never works again, loses friends, loses family, and destroys their way of life.
Inherent in cancel culture is the absence of forgiveness. There’s no accounting for things said or written in the heat of the moment. There’s no benefit of the doubt that there’s already regret. There’s no recognition of the natural growth we all go through as we’re exposed to more people, events, and ideas.
Perhaps most importantly, there’s a complete lack of awareness that the house we’re living in most likely has just as much glass. Trying to cancel someone else implies that you, yourself, have never said or done anything that others may deem unacceptable.
Empathy was one of the cornerstones of the Democrat Party convention, yet there are so many obvious examples of just how one-sided they meant it.
Look no further than the empathy we’re supposed to have for all the of the literal criminals they turn into heroes under the heading of police brutality without any empathy for the mind-numbingly difficult, tense, and scary job it is to be a police officer – a task made far scarier with the Democrat demonization of the profession.
By telling everyone how evil the police are and blowing out of the proportion the dozen unarmed black people killed in the last year – out of the millions who interacted with police – people began to believe the constant drumbeat that cops are only taking the job so they can hunt black people (which is simply stupid thinking).
Next thing you know, people are attacking police and resisting arrest when confronted by police. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as more and more people resist arrest, risking physical harm, including being killed by an officer who’s trying to make an arrest. And on and on it goes.
Empathy is a multi-lane highway. You don’t pick and choose who you’re going to empathize with and who you’re not. But it requires perspective to see that.
Perspective comes with experience. In fact, it’s almost dependent on it. Without the experience of having seen many different people with many different goals all trying to coexist and manage their own lives with as little effect on others as possible, it’s easy to see things with blinders and lose sight of the bigger picture.
It requires perspective to understand that things are dynamic. It’s not just as simple of improving policing and all will be well. As it relates to the black community, policing isn’t even close to the place to start. In all of this black lives matter movement, I see little, if any, mention of improving poor and inner city schools.
Without a stable family structure and solid education that teaches you how to function in society (without hating it), people don’t stand a chance. And since there are so many members of the black community with single parents, in urban settings, with horrible public schools, and little to no way to get to a good school, we’re already dooming a huge part of our society to failure.
That has little or nothing to do with policing. In fact, to the degree it does, it’s that we need more and better policing to restore law and order in areas where it has essentially vanished. For, without law and order, none of the above is possible.
I know it seems like we have less and less in common in America, but until we start forgiving the little things, start considering the life experiences of others, which help establish their world view, and start considering the bigger picture of why it’s important for us to listen to each other, we will never find unity.
And if we have no unity, we no longer have a country.