When did the human race cease to evolve? Let’s review and see if we have evolved at all in the last 156 years…
April 12, 1861
Four years later – 620,000 souls had died
Reasoning behind the Civil War:
- Industry in the North vs. Farming in the South – Southern economy was based on slave labor
- States’ Rights – The southern states felt that the federal government was taking away their rights and powers
- Expansion – North and South battled for power in each new state that was added to the country
- Slavery – Self-explanatory – not good –never was –never will be
- Lincoln – Who was against slavery and was elected without being on the ballots in 10 of the southern states
- Secession – Eleven states attempted to leave the country and Lincoln was having none of that, sent in troops and began the Civil War
Have we failed our youth by not sharing these stories? The reasons so many lost their lives? The reasons why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created in the first place?
Is today a rerun of the 1860’s or the 1960’s?
There’s rioting, groups impeding free speech, troops lining the streets, defacing of monuments and personal property, and a resurgence of BIGOTRY: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
I don’t remember our country being like that on September 11, 2001. I don’t remember the hate between political parties, between skin color and religion that day. All I remember is the quiet and an entire country coming together to try to comfort and heal one another. What has happened in 16 years that has made us attack each other?
Friends have parted ways because of political parties. Religions are practiced in fear and there’s an anxiety of speaking our truth for fear of being ostracized, criticized or killed. There is no discussion, there’s only “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” I wonder if the entire country has forgotten the caring nature each citizen felt after 9/11, will it take another catastrophe to return to that caring?
Is the hatred for each other just a portrayal of what a handful of biased people wants us to believe?
People have been speaking about our founding fathers owning slaves. Sadly — that’s what ‘was’ done at that time, emphasis on the ‘was’. Fast forward 200 years and the thought of slavery isn’t conceivable in the 2000’s, at least not in our country. The fact that the founders helped to create one of the greatest countries in the world and abolish slavery, is a sidebar to many. Can we really compare the lives of people who lived 200 years ago to our standards today? Is that logical? Without a baseline of their lifestyles – good and bad – how could we show that we really have evolved? Can we honestly say we have evolved past the self-righteousness of believing there is only one way to think?
If we remove all monuments of historical events – good or bad – will the memory of the lessons learned – good or bad – be removed along with them? Would removing parts of our darkest history like the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the September 11th Memorials, and or perhaps bulldozing the actual Trail of Tears in nine states, remove the horror? Do we wipe clean the side of Mount Rushmore, discarding these men’s accomplishments? Don’t these monuments stand to remind us that maybe, just maybe, we have evolved from those times, just a bit?
Here is part of an address from Calvin Coolidge at the opening of the work on Mount Rushmore on August 10, 1927 I found inspiring:
“Other people have marveled at the growth and strength of America. They have wondered how a few weak and discordant colonies were able to win their independence from one of the greatest powers of the world. They have been amazed at our genius for self-government. They have been unable to comprehend how the shock of a great Civil War did not destroy our Union….The progress of America has been due to the spirit of the people… If coming generations are to maintain a like spirit, it will be because they continue to support the principles which these men* represented.”
*George Washington – Political Independence – our Constitution
*Thomas Jefferson – The element of Self-Government and Expansion of the Country
*Abraham Lincoln – Permanency of our Union and Freedom to all Inhabitants of our Land
*Theodore Roosevelt – Political Freedom plus Economic Freedom
Watching the Charlottesville videos of both sides pushing, shoving and name-calling made me physically sick. We are so blessed to have an amendment granting us the right to Free Speech. The right to free violence – nope, I don’t think so. White supremacists, Antifa, and any group that speaks with anger, hate and selfishness should be left to speak alone. If no one listens, or attends and no one puts them on camera, will they accomplish the hate spreading? We CAN stop listening to their ranting’s and not give them a response. They’re sort of like children who crave attention – they’ll take it any way they can get it, positively or negatively.
I wonder if we are all a little to blame for what seems to be the beginning of another Civil War? Left against Right, white against black, poor against rich, and coasts against the heartland? Do we incite a little flame each time we talk about, post or tweet something trying to convince people our way is the only way to think? Should we post something if we don’t know it to be factual? Can anger and rage make us live on a treadmill of fury for four years if the person we voted for didn’t get elected? Is that how people felt in past elections – wounded for 4 or 8 years? So much time wasted…
Why can’t we all be just humans?
I guess now’s a good time to confess to all five of you, who may be reading this. I have “un-followed” some friends on Facebook. Yep I’m coming clean! Many of you may have done this to me as well. We’re actually still friends on Facebook (and in life) but in the 15 minutes I scan the daily feed I’m not looking for the latest news story. (Although I fear that many young people may believe that posts are actual news.) I’m really looking to smile or laugh or be inspired.
At the end of last weekend I needed to step away from all the finger-pointing on the News and Facebook. Thinking deeply, as I always do in the midst of laundry, I was struck by the amount of lint caught in the dryer vent after the blanket finished drying. I wonder, does this happen every time we speak badly about someone, dig up dirt on someone or forward negative or inflammatory posts about another human? Do we remove a layer of their humanness? Do we suck the life out of people? Are WE a dryer? Perhaps that’s why the most intelligent, honest, responsible and sensible people don’t run for office, who would want to, just to be thrown in the dryer.
My wish, today for my children, that they think with their intelligent minds and not be swayed by the masses. That they not believe everything that is fed to them by Facebook or the media. That they listen to all sides of an issue. I hope for them that this country can come together without being forced to by an international crisis or a civil war; just as I’m sure the families in 1861 wished for those 620,000 souls who died believing there was only one way to believe…
Grateful for you,
P.S. The thought of being honest and kind while keeping our differences was put together so thoughtfully by Heineken in Worlds Apart. It’s truly worth the watch!!