Are we searching for neat and clean?
We are all searching for something. Some of us are searching for answers. Some of us are searching for relationships. Some of us are Seeking solace or peace. And a great many of us these days are seeking to understand what the hell is going on with our country.
Perhaps we mourn the neat and orderly life of our childhood and are confused by the messiness of today. I get that. I do.
In reality, messiness is a part of freedom, democracy, and liberty. One person’s freedom may be another person’s shackles. I think those trying to rise above the shackles of racism, sexism and other isms understand that freedom is subject to context and definition.
As I watched Disney+’s Hamilton, a short exchange between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr got my attention. Granted, this is from a Broadway show, but it speaks to me. Perhaps it will speak to you as well.
Aaron Burr: The Constitution’s a mess.
Alexander Hamilton: So, it needs amendments.
Burr: It’s full of contradictions.
Hamilton: So is independence.
These differences we argue about today, and even in the time of the Founding Fathers are shallow. We only scratch the surface with our charged words, defensive posture, and attacks on the other person’s perspective without really understanding. We look to the Founding Fathers for wisdom and guidance, but they can’t provide clarity any more than we can today.
Our world is complex. We aren’t a homogenous country where everyone thinks alike. That would certainly be easier, but that train has left the station.
The United States is full of contradictions. Our government must accommodate an agrarian society as well as an urban society. We must balance the environment with economics. We must navigate “corporate America’s” power while maintaining small business as the heart of the country.
We are who we are. We can dig in and mourn the past, or we can look at the opportunities that the future may hold. We can take a deep breath before laying into someone who’s beliefs are different, and try to find out where they are coming from.
If we can just get past that tense, rocky place where the surface looks like we are miles apart in our perspectives, we just might find we are closer than we think.