USA…USA…USA…” Have we found unity? Can chants and flag waving change us? When the element of danger moves us to link our lives together, we do so under an external prod which can never last. Once a crisis passes, there is just no stopping us from getting back to normal –that is, divided.
A rare moment in history found us standing at the door of a new and better world. The 9-11 attack had opened it a crack. Could we, as one, pry it open further? War has always been THE WAY to get a diverse multitude to rally around the single purpose of survival as a nation. But, inevitably, at the earliest convenience, war’s strange bedfellows do split up. It is the revolving wheel of expediency, ever turning. You can bet on it.
With the increase in security, our anxiety gets defused. That knee-jerk unity becomes frayed as, once more, we feel free to pursue our private agendas. The hot, passionate oneness was but a flirtation after all. For, no matter how well we might perform as a team on a field of battle, we still remain, through and through, fiercely partisan, strongly insular, and extremely proud individuals.
When unity is born solely of necessity, it will last only as long as is necessary. This is not real unity at all but an alliance, a “whether”-vane partnership which forever shifts in the wind of self-interest. Whether or not such a coalition is held together at any one session depends on whether or not each player at the table feels he may hold a winning hand. It is all wheeling and dealing continuously. You do not want to bet on it.
Obviously, you will not find a united body at the UN; neither at the capital, nor at city hall. Churches are a wreck, too. At the core of this large division is, logically, small division. Today, the family, society’s basic building block, lies damaged or destroyed because we have raised personal separateness to a gold medal standard. If the pinnacle of life is a lifestyle centered on the single, private self, the glue is gone. We must bust that sophisticated specter of selfishness which haunts our houses, breeding a shrouded terror we do not want to face.
Here in our backyard is the most critical and sacred ground zero. Rebuilding the ruins of razed intimate unity is our job. Home is where the heart is; there, beats the discordant rhythm of divisiveness which, stridently and suggestively, vibrates all across this land. So, look no further. It is home where the path must begin.