It's Hard to be an American

What’s happening to my country?

So many people are walking around their towns in fear, where previously neighbors have left their doors unlocked without concern, or at least unconcerned that neighbors would violate their sanctuary. Not even a thought about such a thing would pass through their minds just a few decades ago.

Instead, we now find people taking out loans to buy security systems in places where there is little to no crime. If we see a stranger or someone who may appear to be a bit different, we instantly become guarded. When we know little to nothing of a person, we cluster together and create the frequencies of fear through our fantasies, which then turn to hatred and permeate all things around us.

The opiate addiction in this country is nothing compared to the addiction of fear that so many are salivating for, and can’t wait to get their next fix. How have we come to this?

If we pause for a moment and ponder without blaming a single soul or picking sides, it won’t take us long to see some of the truths involved in the division of the American heart.

Let’s start with our entertainment. Our video games train our children to perceive danger at every turn. They don’t get rewards for being nice, but instead rewarded through the numbers of demons they slaughter or by the number of people they kill. We call it entertainment.

Turn on the T.V., and every channel is continuously broadcasting an endless stream of violence and suspicion. Over the last decade, our news medias have become outlets and distributors of fear. They bring out the pundits to speculate on what the next threat is, and they put every word on trial. No matter how wrong they are and what truths emerge, no one takes responsibility; and because America has become addicted to fear, we don’t care - we just want to move onto the next threat.

One can talk about the opiate addiction in this nation, but the conversation should be our addiction to fear, division and the manifestation of hate. So many people now feel the ecstasy in amplifying their dislikes into hatred, and it’s driving great wedges between all the tribes of our nation. It’s dividing male and female, the young and elderly, and one temple from another. Because of this, every day we become weaker as a people.

The United States became great as a nation because we represent every tribe of humanity.

In this land, we represent every temple and every philosophy. When the Constitution was being debated, the Founding Fathers called it a great experiment and left provisions within it, so that we always have the ability to expand and evolve our freedoms to be more and more inclusive, guaranteeing that not one group would usurp its authority over another group.

It’s hard to be an American.

As a veteran, when I see someone who has not served in the military wearing a military field jacket inappropriately displaying my unit patches, I admit I want to slap him, I want to grab him and shake him and scream into his or her face -- but I don’t. No matter how hard it is for me, I must remind myself that I wore that uniform to guarantee that person’s right to express themselves as they see fit.

It’s hard to be an American.

There are many temples that I strongly disagree with, and I am as well offended by their perceptions, but I will gladly put that uniform back on to defend their right to worship as they see fit.

It’s hard to be an American.

We have many differences between us, but we represent all the children of Creation in this great land of ours. No matter what we believe in, in relationship to each other, we are only strong when we defend each other in spite of our differences.

This takes the courage of an American.

I must remind myself of this each day when I turn on the news and see the madness of our division. I ponder this in my meditations: how have we come to forget that we only exist as Americans when we are united as a people? The answer is simple.

Too few are practicing love, and too few are listening to the foundation of what the great prophets preached: brotherhood, unity, compassion, inclusion, and sharing. The prophets asked us to look into our hearts and find love, and there’s a reason for this: if you do not practice love within your own heart, you have nothing to give your fellow man.

For love begins within oneself, and when the seed is set in motion, you will seek unity with everything around you. That includes all peoples, no matter how different they are.

It is hard to be an American, but it is even harder to follow the words in the way of the prophets who have come before you. So, may I suggest before it is too late, we embrace the words of our prophets and begin the task of embracing love. It will not be easy, but the endeavor is salvation itself.

Be at Peace.