Alder reminding us what is important
I hope that years from now that we will look back at the latter half of 2014 and see that it was a time when we admitted the problems that our country had and begin to make substantial change.
Between the multiple racially motivated shootings, suicides of children, and the admittance of the CIA of torture it is hard to imagine anyone thinking that our country and our belief in ‘American Exceptionalism’ are successful projects and ideas. Alder’s belief in love is a start, but we need to turn that love into action.
There are articles about how there needs to be changes made within the culture of the police departments, the CIA, school culture….. The list goes on. But lets be honest each of these institutions are just promoting the underlying cultural norms that we have settled into as a country. Until we all change how we view the value of humans, not just the ones that look like you or speak like you, implementing individual programs in departments will have only as much effect as sweeping water off the beach as the tide comes in.
I don’t have hard answers only what I feel with my heart. We have to change and the basis of this change has to be deep, and it will be uncomfortable.
In college I took a Modern American History course where we talked about how our country is in its adolescence, a point in life when we ask the difficult question and create new identities. I think it is time that we stop trying to tell everyone else what to do and take our own advice and fix our society.
This means working from where we are, not waiting for some change from outside of us. Every time I hear someone tell me that they are going to ‘sit this issue out’ because ‘they did the activist thing in college’ I want to scream. Activism, making change, giving a damn, what ever you want to call it isn’t something you can wear like a trendy sweater. Opting out because your day is too busy, or the Christmas holidays are stressful are just excuses. That holiday season we want to give our children the memory of will pale in comparison to the better society we leave them with if we all give a commitment to it.
Now it is up to all of us to find a way that we can help make changes, small or large, that will set us, as a country, in the right direction. I include myself in this, I feel at loose ends and haven’t figured out what I can do to have the most effect.