A recent WordPress Daily Prompt’s headline was “Seven Wonders“. Am I the only one who immediately thought of the Seven Wonders of the World? It is obvious, no? But of course, that wasn’t the point of the prompt.
It was much more intriguing: “Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?”
I’ve gotta tell you, dozens and dozens of alternatives popped into my head right away. But the more I thought about it, the more this one just seemed to stand out:
Try looking for the good in people.
Never in my life can I remember a time when there was as much hatred, intolerance, animosity, prejudice, disdain, disrespect, disagreement, lack of civility and downright vile, vicious and unacceptable behaviour as there is currently. Especially in the United States where, it seems to me, “the greatest power on earth” looks like it’s going to hell in a hand basket. Shocking.
Nobody likes anybody. Anti-muslim, anti-jew, anti-catholic, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-poor, anti-rich, anti-seniors, anti-hispanic, anti-black, anti-President. Especially anti-President. The members of the House don’t get along with members of congress. The democrats can’t stand the republicans. The republicans can’t stand each other. The tea party hates everyone.
Instead of listening and talking and debating and brainstorming and negotiating, they’re all pointing fingers, name-calling, accusing, threatening and generally stomping their feet, behaving like children refusing to eat their vegetables.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
What I can’t believe is how oblivious they are to the damage this is causing to their economy, their reputation and, in fact, to the whole world.
Instead of spending all our time looking for what’s wrong with each other, and our ideas, why can’t we look for what’s right? What’s good. What’s nice. What’s fair. What’s possible. What’s positive. Why can’t we try to find common ground? Why can’t we agree to agree instead of agreeing to disagree? Why can’t we give each other a chance? Why can’t we hear each other out?
Why can’t we stop being self-serving? Why can’t we put ourselves in the other guy’s shoes, for just a minute? Get back to being understanding and welcoming and compassionate and collaborative and generous and entrepreneurial . That is, after all, what made America great in the first place, is it not?
And now America’s strengths have become its weaknesses. And what once was the American dream has now become the American nightmare.