As Dr. Ben Carson has said, “we are allowing circumstances/sides to divide us, and make us hateful toward each other.” We, the United States of America, cannot be a house divided and last for long.
We form a chasm when differences of opinion become “our” position versus “their” position. This is the problem we have in our country now. We no longer have a “United” States; instead, we have a “we” and a “they”. In this gap formed by difference of opinion, the agitators love to stir up dissension with their harsh words. The more they talk, the more the divide widens.
Words do matter, and agitators take advantage of that. For example, we often hear about Christians vs. Muslims, Protestants vs. Catholics, black vs. white, male vs. female. We do have different ideas. Some are good ideas, others not so much. If the opposing sides could humble themselves to listen to the other side without hatred or sarcasm, perhaps we could begin to understand the other’s position. With the goal of finding common ground that would benefit the greater good, we could then use the strongest points from each position to benefit everyone. As Dr. Ben Carson has said, “we are allowing circumstances/sides to divide us, and make us hateful toward each other.” We, the United States of America, cannot be a house divided and last for long.
However, we’ve allowed our pride to dominate. Pride convinces us that only “our” view is correct, that the “others” just need to see it our way. We don’t listen to their hearts or take the time to find out how similar we are, or to determine how we could work together. Of course, there will always be bullies that won’t reason, that won’t come to the table, that won’t humble themselves to consider another option. The bullies just lash out in hateful rhetoric, but we don’t need to be one of them.
Is hateful rhetoric partly to blame for so many killings of innocents? Of course it is. Hateful rhetoric exacerbates a tense situation, as Carson has said. Carson has been blasted for saying that hateful rhetoric is not good, whichever side you are on. And yet, how can hate be good? But rhetoric alone does not kill innocent people. Words don’t pull triggers, people do. We allow our pride to dominate our thinking, to the point of taking another’s life in the name of being “right”. We’ve done so since the Garden of Eden.
Carson’s recent visit to Jordan to talk with the refugees first hand is a perfect example of how to see both sides of an issue to make the best decision for all concerned. He had heard American views on whether or not to admit Syrian refugees to U.S. This trip gave him the chance to talk to the refugees themselves, to find out what they wanted, to listen to their hearts. What a novel idea!
Rather than spewing hateful words or killing one another, let us turn from our pride, work out our differences, and learn from one another. This is the beginning of wisdom, and the only way to bring us closer to a truly United States of America.