I was looking to verify something else, when I stumbled upon this link:
It is important to remember, in political discourse, that we all have a right to voice our opinion even if that opinion is unpopular, or even a little fringe.
As with the petitions that this link talks about however, it is also important to remember that while 100,000 people may seem like a lot of people (the largest number of signatures any of the petitions got was a little over 100,000), they still represent less than 1% of the population of any of the states involved.
The secessionists have a right to speak, but the rest of us need to remember that we as a nation are still relatively unified and should continue to be as we move forward as a nation.
We need to put aside all the petty bickering, and look at the real issues. We need to ignore the media for a few days and look at what is going on in our cities and towns and neighborhoods.
We need to get together as neighbors and move forward to repair our nation’s economy and to create strong communities, regardless of political affiliations.
The community, especially the neighborhood, and even more closely our households and families, are the most basic unit of society. If you look around, you will see that most likely your neighbor has the same wants, needs, and worries as you do. This is true even if you are a Democrat and he or she is a Republican (or some other combination of politician ideologies). At the community level we can work together to make our neighborhoods healthier and stronger.
By building up our communities and making them cleaner, safer, and more self-sufficient, we are creating a solid foundation. After all, communities are the building blocks of larger communities. They are the building blocks of a nation. If the foundation is more firm, then the nation will be stronger.
The first step is to address how you look at your neighbor. Do not look at them and think they are White, or Black, or Asian, or Arab. Do not look at them and think they are Catholic, or Muslim, or Baptist, or Atheist, or Jew. Do not look at them and think they are wealthy or poor. Look at them and think “They are my neighbor, my brother, my sister, a part of my community.”
Really, truly, everything else flows from this one little change. This one little detail in the way that you look at the world is the basis for everything else that needs to be done to repair the world that we live in.
From there, start a dialogue. It may not be easy at first, but be patient. The first step is just to communicate. Talk. Discuss whatever you want. This may sound pointless, but it is not. It helps to establish a consistent language between you and them.
We live in a world that has been divided consistently by the media and by the people who run the political parties. This division has lasted long enough that two people who follow two different political ideologies quite likely speak two different languages that sound so similar that when they collide it is explosive. Two people can use the exact same words and mean two totally different things. This is part of the healing process. This is part of the damage that must be undone.
As you continue to communicate, look to the community and see what is needed. Are the streets dirty? Are the street lights damaged? Is anyone in your neighborhood going to bed hungry at night? Is there anyone that does not have a bed? Even if they have no house, they are still a part of the community and should be lifted up and cared for.
As a member of the community, you will know better than any bureaucrat what the needs of your community are. And what you don’t know, others will. Dialogue will still be important at this point. It will still be important all along, and for the rest of eternity. Never let the dialogue end. It is what strengthens the bond of the community and makes it an extended family.
If there are people who are hungry, then decide how to help them. Are there the resources to feed them? Are there any empty lots that could be made into gardens? Depending on the time of year, and the annual weather patterns, a community garden can go a long way towards eliminating hunger. If you eliminate hunger, and homelessness, then you effectively eliminate poverty. Those are the two things that will hold an individual back the most. If you must fight to survive, then you have little energy for other things. If you have food and comfort, then you can survive most other things.
If the street lights are broken, then they can be repaired. If the city refuses to repair them, then the people must. There is a group in Detroit that is doing just that. They are not only repairing the streetlights, they are upgrading them to run on solar power.
If the streets are dirty, then the people can work together to clean them.
Every little bit helps. Every hour that you spend improving your neighborhood and improving your community is an investment in the future. Every bond of friendship that you make, regardless of differences in ideology, is an investment in the future of Humanity as a whole. Every garden you plant is an investment in food security. Every house you build or repair is an improvement in someone’s life.
Our world has some problems. Our nation has some problems. We all know this. We can work together though to help each other and to make our own little individual parts of the world better.
No contribution is too small. If you are afraid that you lack what it takes to start, then you must put those ideas aside. Every last one of us should do what we can, even if we do not see immediate results. If we stand together, and move together, then others will slowly start to follow.
Now is the time for people to stand up, and stand together, and take control of the future of their communities. Don’t ask your neighbor “Are you a Republican,” or “Are you a Democrat,” or “Are you a Christian,” or “Are you a Buddhist.” Ask only “Do you want to make this community better?”
When it comes to ideologies and beliefs, that is the only question worth asking, and the only one that makes a difference. We are all human. We all know what it means to make our community better. When we stop looking at the horse and pony show that is national politics, and start looking at our home, we all see the same thing.