Letter To My Nation

To the People of The United States of America,

We have been through a very tough year. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this year I understand that many people are not feeling particularly thankful. Our nation is divided, and every day I read the news and my heart breaks for where we seem to be headed, particularly because nobody seems to be talking about how to stop it.

As a nation we have faced tough times before, but we have pulled through. There have been many events over our 200+ year history that have wounded and divided us. We have faced war, economic collapse, terrorist attacks, and many other terrible events in our history. We stood strong through all of those things, however if we aren’t careful, the next terrible event could be our undoing. You see, the problem is that somewhere along the way we stopped believing in other people. We looked at our neighbor and where we once saw a friend, or at least someone who wasn’t an enemy, we now see a label. We see the race, gender, sexual orientation, political party, and religious affiliation instead of first and foremost seeing the person.

You have only to watch the news to see the disastrous consequences of this fundamental shift in our collective viewpoint. Seeing the label allows you to remove the humanity from the equation. With the humanity gone, it becomes trivial for disagreements to turn into mistrust, and eventually hate. When looked at that way, it’s no wonder our natural reaction is to assume the worst of intentions on the part of others.

This state of affairs is heartbreaking to me. Instead of allowing our disagreements to divide us, we should be using them as an opportunity to get to know the people that hold differing views. Their life experience has caused them to think and act the way they do, and we do them a disservice by not reaching across the divide of our differences to embrace them as friends.

I urge all those reading this, no matter what side of any issue you fall on, take the time to reach out to those who disagree. Recognize the truth that just as they don’t know what you’ve been through, so too do you not know what they’ve been through. We are all shaped by our experiences, and we owe it to each other to reach for love instead of hate.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read this

-Matt

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