Along Twin Ponds Road

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By Ray Willis

Why can’t we as Americans act a little more like we belong to a nation called the “United States?”  What has happened to that attitude of good will toward our fellow man and the general “feel good all over” feeling that so many of us have felt in the past?  Or are you too young to remember those days?  If you haven’t had any reason to feel good about America for legitimate reasons, I am sorry about your plight.

I read one of the most interesting editorials I’ve read in a long time when I read Linda P. Campbell’s essay entitled, “Can We Please Act like United States?” recently in the area’s daily newspaper.  It was a thought provoking essay and really stirred me.

Campbell wrote that she wanted her country back, the one where good education is celebrated and not looked upon negatively with suspicion or hostility.  The one where public debate is encouraged by reasonable people concerned with solving problems, not radical voices doing anything to misinform or get people riled up and divided.

She went on to stress that we are the “United States” and not the “Secessionist” states.  We were created as a nation united and not one divided.

I also agree with the writer when she stressed that no individual political party or interest group had a monopoly on  good ideas, and that we don’t progress or get better by living in a bubble where we listen only to those who may look and think like we do. 

Many people in this nation believe that some celebrities we listen to on the airwaves possessing extreme views  do not help to keep the peace in this nation, rather that they stir up fear and spread bad feeling and feed any bias of our own that we might be harboring.

If you’ll recall, I wrote an article a few weeks ago sharing with you that my father had always told me to keep my political views to myself.  At this point, I will be careful because I thought Linda Campbell started to get a little too political in her column, especially when she brought up former President Bush and our incumbent President Obama.

She did bring up another interesting point in her article about conservative people in our country wanting public schools to teach kids values such as respect, hard work, responsibility and being good patriots.  However, heaven forbid that our own president should talk to the students about the very same values.

One more very interesting point, and I agree fully with Campbell is how any president, regardless of political party, is capable of righting our country in just over 200 days.  Give me a break!  I can’t believe the anger and distortions about just where our country should be since the new president took office.  There is such anger out there that I really wonder if too many people are incapable of looking for some good accomplished since our new government has been at work.

It seems to be the “in” thing to do these days:  attend a political meeting or gathering and yell and shout and be recognized, not for what you believe, necessarily, but as coming off as cool because you screamed  out your view in front of a live audience.

Lastly, Campbell believes that mainstream Americans want solutions to the real problems confronting this country, especially health care and that if cooler heads would prevail we could get something done rather than being sidetracked by phony controversies aired by extreme voices over the airwaves.

I also read in my daily devotional, Our Daily Bread, this morning, a passage from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: 4: 31-32:  “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving, one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

I don’t know about you, but Paul’s words seem quite timely and like pretty good advice.

God bless you and please stay cool.