“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” -Alexandre Dumas
In light of last week’s big event, Dumas’ famous line is more relevant than ever as our country begins to come to terms with the results of a widely anticipated and drawn-out election.
Undoubtedly, politicians are important to a society. However, they are only mere representatives of the individuals that actually compose our communities. They do not embody the population’s complexity to its full extent, and they are not as mighty and vital to our country as the millions of people who reside in it; not even remotely close. Unfortunately, this is easy to forget as we become wrapped up in the drama of the political arena and inevitably choose sides. Further, our divided political system projects the illusion that people are an “us” or a “them;” in truth, human beings are far too multilayered by their life experiences and opinions to be painted as simply red or blue.
Subsequently, I see divisiveness reflected in political posts on Facebook, often containing negative generalizations about groups of people like liberals or conservatives. I hear divisiveness when my friends and I use anecdotal evidence to discuss and debate the state of our union. I feel divisiveness in my classes when we learn about topics that ignite controversy and bleed subjective interpretation.
It’s human nature to look for a scapegoat when we witness atrocities or experience the hardships of the world. In reality, we all play a part in the world’s problems. It’s very important to understand that every single day, we are free to make choices. These choices either contribute to those problems, or help alleviate them.
And so our choice is revealed: we can choose to fight, judge and blame one another based on our differences, or, we can accept these differences, move past them and work together toward common goals. The former forecasts conflict and turmoil; the latter forecasts peace, unity and compromise.
It’s time to put our differences aside and work together to create the brighter future we all envision. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Let’s start by making the choice to care for and respect one another no matter how we voted. We’re all in this together.