Saturday, September 24, 2016

Making America Good Again: United by Equality

For America to be good, America must also be united.  What unites us is not our race, tribe, ethnicity or religion.  We are not held together by the dictates of a king, dictator, spiritual leader or an oligarchy. 

Americans are united by two big ideas: 
all people are equal and
people should be governed by laws, not men. 

Human equality and the rule of law are real-life applications of "love one another" and "The Golden Rule." 
Today, let's make this personal. How are you and every other person on the planet equal? 
Let's start with the most obvious.  We all started the same way.  People aren't necessarily conceived through the traditional method anymore, but it still takes the DNA of male and a female of our species to get a human being.  From conception, our bodies grow and function the same.  Muscles, bones, organs, blood, and the rest. 
But being human is more than our physical body.  You know without being told that you are more than what you see in the mirror.   There is a lot going on inside you.
You have emotions - like love and hate, happiness and sorrow, contentment and frustration. 
You think.  You learn and solve problems.  You remember. You imagine things and dream. You ponder the meaning of life.
You make choices, what I call free will.  Viktor E. Frankl, a world-renowned psychiatrist,  was repeatedly tortured during the three years he spent in Nazi concentration camps.  He came to the conclusion that no matter what our circumstances or what happens to us, we can choose how we will react.  He said, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."  That space, that freedom to choose, is in you.  
You are often self-centered.  You sometimes think that the world revolves around you and your needs.  You want to gain power and possessions.  Sometimes you think you are better than everybody else.
You have a conscience and are sometimes surprised by that unasked for feeling of knowing what is right and wrong.
In addition to all of that, you still find that there is something else that no thing, no thought, no feeling can satisfy.  The 17th century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal put it this way:
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?  This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself."
You see, you also have a spiritual side, what many through the centuries have called the soul.   
So, how are people equal?  We are all physical, emotional, rational, free, self-centered, conscience-laden and spiritual beings.  
And one more thing.  Some might say we are equal because we agree that we are, but if that is true we could just as easily agree that we aren't!  The primary reason we are equal is because we are all created and loved by God, and God wants us to see each other as God does. That will never change.  
You are a human being - a complex and wonderful creation of God.  So is every person you see. 
There are many other things about you that are important - your sex, your race, your ethnicity, your family, your religion, your talents, your bank account, your intelligence, etc.  All of these are secondary to your essential humanity.  These things do not make you superior to any other person.   These things do not make you inferior to any other person.  They make you different from some others, but not better or worse.
To make America good again, can we unite around this idea?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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