Thursday, July 9, 2020

There's only Us

If I learned anything from researching and writing two novels set in Nazi Germany, it's this: dividing people into Us and Them leads to disaster for everyone. Everyone.  

From our perspective 80+ years after the Nazi regime, it's easy for us to see how labeling people, grouping folks into categories based on a set of criteria, set up the horror that was the Nazi era. The question is, do we see similar attitudes in the world today? 

Do we see it in our country?

In our cities and towns?

In our own backyard?

And the ultimate question: Do we see similar attitudes in our own hearts?

I confess. I am tired of the rhetoric. I am tired of American-born vs immigrant, Democrat vs Republican, black vs white, the privileged vs the poor. I am tired of the labels and categories that divide us. I am tired of the human tendency to paint people with a broad brush based on some criteria or other. 

I have seen historical proof of where labels can take us. I don't want to go there. 

I will do the only thing I can do. I will control ME. Today. Right here, right now. 

I will attend to the attitudes in my own heart. 

I will address my own tendency to categorize people and their actions as good or bad based on some predetermined criteria. 

I will speak out against injustice regardless of which 'side' causes that injustice. 

And when I fail, because I will, I will try to do better. 

How about you?