America’s Hard Lesson on Acceptance and Kintsukuroi
When President Obama recently spoke at his foundation benefit, he spoke of the dynamics we have as a people, and as a nation. The need for people to see others as people, not as a political party, or all encompassed under this label, and that name. That is coming from someone who has been on the receiving end of some of the harshest rhetoric and labeling folks have ever come up with. It is a simple concept, a noble and intellectually sound argument, to treat others as the individuals that they are and to have that thought reciprocated… It’s a nice thought, but not the mindset attached to this timestamp of society and its inhabitants. The culture that is steering Democracy off a high cliff as its inhabitants desperately try to cancel America.
The division of the people began in earnest after the 2008 election, but it had been going on for years. The designation of real Americans -v- everyone else that was so prevalent during the opening decade of this millennium that it was satire in the contemporary entertainment, and a point of contention during the campaigning in 2008. Enough so, that Senate Majority leader McConnell declared his only duty on day one of the Obama administration as that of an obstructionist, to make Obama a one term President. With that overt attack on our system of government, the wheels went sliding off, the media normalized the behavior, and a long standing system of checks and balances was dismantled in the name of corporate profits, party loyalty, indifference, and bigotry.
From socio-economic conditions, to basic human rights, the entirety of our history, of our nation, and our commitment to this endeavor is under assault. From within or without, the forces that challenged the world to embrace freedom are being laid threadbare at our collective self serving culture. In the midst of a true and real Constitutional crisis, the time has come for a decisive look at the truths we still hold to be self-evident. A challenge to our nation that holds more destructive power than any military could ever muster. Our very fabric is being tested, torn, and placed under the threat of fire to the threads themselves. We will not be saved, we will not be secure, or progress, holding the ashes of good intentions.
The divisions were more general in the last decade. In this decade those divisions have spread to every possible inch of ground. The subsets of beliefs on each side of the aisle. The sensibilities and rationale of the sex, race, age, and popularity of position, as well as the personal charisma’s of the candidates are working away at a fever pitch. The divisions that are being made now are not going to be easy to repair, or easy to undo. They are going to have an overreaching effect on our cultural, and political psyche’s for years to come. Show us our divisions, and we fracture into broken segments. Show us our similarities, and we see the commonality of our natures. The magnifying effect has been placed on our divisions, and as we all know, and remember; United we stand… divided we fall.
From “Okay Boomer,” to the “MAGA” movement, shouts of socialism and fascism, the rich and the poor, the corporate greed and the common citizen; These are just a fraction of the divisions that are prominent in our collective contemporary culture and society. These divisors are being fueled by systems of media, social and mainstream. They are advanced or quieted by the very same impetus that bread them, an addict like response to the very problems themselves. The conflict/resolution part of our reptilian brains, unable to stop the runaway thinking, the constant knocking at our psyche’s. The perilous future tripping that we inherit with this survival of the fittest genetics.
Those divisors, the ones that continually lap at the shores of our discomfort, have their natural enemies. The human condition does not entertain constant strife as a means to the security our species reaches for, or the inequalities that are bred from constant confrontation. The plurality of being human beings is a greater measure, a greater master, than any laws written down. Division, strife, angst, and indifference, all of those eroding forces halt when faced with the bigger truths, the understanding and communication, the undeniable gossamer strands and steel beams that connect us all together. The bigger truths remain anchored, the responses come as actions. We will meet division with inclusion. We will meet strife with compassion. We will meet angst with understanding. And we will meet indifference with desire. That is the enemy to these forces that curse us, that is the truth to this condition. The very thing that transcends the boundaries of time, and the borders of nations, is the human experience.
The divisions are being played out in front of our eyes. The dismantling of trust, of those truths, to deception, lies, and ignorance has brought about a shattered view of reality for many. The need for the hunter gatherer, survival mode truths leading sensibilities all over the information and imagination spectrum. The planted cultures too much to resist, the expectations driven up by propaganda and pandering. It has reached such a height that the past is no longer seen as a viable link to the future; That that history itself is the anchor that threatens to drown us with its weight, no safe harbor anywhere in sight. The work to sail the battered ship America to safety too much to endure, or impose, on such a lofty and self-centered list of passengers. The beliefs are held in many that we can somehow cancel this subscription, and the ills will not follow us into the future, that undiscovered country. They would be mistaken…
The dividing forces have already begun to fail. The actions and communications necessary to alleviate our differences and indifference’s are prominent in our culture once more. The truth of the human condition at work in keeping us between the lines of utter destruction, and the immensity of progress. The divisions will not undo, the cancelling mindset will not undo, the partisanship and battling ideologies will not undo… This.
Because we have always been divided, we have always been united as well, we have always been searching for a better way forward. This is who we are, we are broken, and we are whole, we are weak, and we are strong. We are who we are because we are broken, because we have always been challenging the way in which we’re made. Kintsukuroi, is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with a resin filled with gold or silver, it is considered more beautiful having been broken. In that same ken, a reflection on the dynamics of national culture and societal mores. The bonds we do make are formed with precious elements, and common materials, a commodity of substance that inherits its own economy. The gossamer threads, and steel beams that connect and bind us are not undone by strife, anger, or oppression, they are strengthened.
In such times as this, when the entirety of our purpose is under review. When the seeds of discomfort sew division and discord in our self-serving culture, we imagine a new beginning. We imagine a new beginning because we do not recognize the poignant new beginning we are involved in. We imagine a revised form of government, when we are in the midst of such revisions. We imagine a new and inclusive form of society, as we are making it. We imagine a new tomorrow, while working on the very actions of creating that new day. A difficult lesson on acceptance, one with the definition of not acquiescing, nor retreating from. A lesson on the history that shines on through our humanity. A point of desertion as well, that this culture of exclusion, and cancellation, ill will, and hatred is not the victor, it will not undo this. We can rest at ease that the founders saw this bond and presented the people, not with a country, but of a concept. One that started with the words We The People, and continues to grow on that very first precept, first and foremost. The divisions do fall, when the people stand and bond again, speak again, understand anew, that we are the country. Within our brokenness is our resolve, is our new representation, our next era’s and better tomorrow’s. In that humanity is our true endeavor, and in that refrain, there is no manner of cancelling America.