Are you Christian? Does it matter, these children are hungry help me feed them. Are you Muslim? I said, it doesn’t matter, these children are malnourished, they are starving, help me feed them correctly. Are you a democrat? Does it really matter? These children are lost help me lead them. Are you a republican? It doesn’t matter! I asked you to help me give these children direction in their lives. Are you pro black, pro life, pro choice? Are you for real? It doesn’t matter, these children are uneducated help me teach them. Are you wealthy, what degrees do you have? I am telling you that these children do not know how to live life, help me educate them. Are you positive that this is possible? Does it matter that these children are conﬁned by our mistakes? Help me free them. What are you asking? I am asking you to stop worrying about who I am, where I come from, what I believe or how rich or poor I might be. I am asking you to help me. Help me to feed, educate, lead, and free these children.
Our futures are dependent on the success of our legacies, but our legacies have become caught in the confusion of our arguments and ideals. These children have no idea of who they are or where they can go in life. These are our children that need help while we debate the differences that we do have, forgetting what we have in common. America’s history is unique in it’s birthing, the immigrations, slavery, colonization and succession from Britain. The Indian wars, Civil war, and Manifest Destiny, all shaped this nation. From the Jim Crow era to The Civil Rights movement, we as a nation bled to define ourselves as the greatest, most powerful nation in the civilized world.
We are imperfect in our uniqueness, yet we are perfect in our ability to segregate ourselves from those who need us to be human the most. We forget that we share the most important deciding factor for our progress… life. We should live to further life in an economical, healthy, productive manner. But we choose to remain silent about the decimation of America as a culture. We remain loud and boisterous in our debates and arguments about our differences, yet we are consistently stagnant and silent when it comes to identifying our commonalities, to helping the next person, to changing the perspectives of our past and future.
We cannot hope that yesterday did not exist, that the circumstances were any different than they were. We cannot alter yesteryear by blaming the children for the sins of the parents. Yes, bigotry does exist, so does racism, discrimination, and overt slavery. These things do exist and will be brought to the forefront, to be confronted and dismantled. The tax reforms and health care are squeezing the upper classes and destroying the middle classes. Our economic structure, the national debt, fluctuating employment rates are a major concern. Global warming, the destitute in Haiti and Africa all need to be monitored and assisted. North Korea is tripping out and we as a country have strained relations with half the world’s powers. I tell you that if our foundation is rocky and unstable, we cannot go fixing the roof for leaks. The whole damn thing is going to implode while we as a nation still argue about the differences that we share.
We must strengthen America starting with the lowest of the low. Building up the projects, hoods, and ghettos. We must stop the silent window-shopping and go into the “stores” to purchase our success back from ourselves. Actively, rebuilding the infrastructures, foundations, and cultures that sustain America. We must stop ignoring the children that we loudly give school supplies to, thinking I did my part. It’s window dressing, a weekend at some athletic camp, the charities give away. It’s cleaning up the exterior; screaming, “we care”, “you can do it” and other such clichés. Then we leave them with hope alone, thinking that they naively can be what we are without the proper grooming. We do not teach them in those small hours how to live life, what true self worth is. We do not help establish identity, spirituality, and morals to guide them. In the moments shared with them we do not instill the importance of self-worth or how to maintain and grow in it, once we leave them to their world again. When we leave, reality sets in and what ideals we did attempt to give them leave with us. They haven’t learned a life lesson and it seems neither did we. We remain not only silent but we are not working to better our own circumstances at this time. They say silence is golden, yet it seems America’s inaction and silence has us ﬁling for bankruptcy. So what really matters, who I am, who you are, or how and who you can help? What really matters, our differences or what we do have in common? Martin Luther King said, “…let freedom ring…” If freedom is to ring two things must happen. First, someone has to ring the bell, someone has to take that action. Second, the ringing of the bell has to shatter the silence, bringing attention to what really matters to America as a whole.