On Star Trek: TNG there was an episode about a planet wanting to join the Federation, but could not because a small part of its population was against it. It had to be a united planet to be a member.
A united planet.
We who call ourselves citizens of the United States would be noted as liars to say we are united merely as a country these days. We have not been truly united since a few years or so after 9/11. Perhaps there was a momentary resurgence of patriotism when Osama Bin Laden was finally taken down, but bloom fell off that rose pretty quickly.
Since Cain first had his jealous streak and took out Able it has been man’s penchant to divide and hold his cause in favor.
It is one the oldest strategies in the book of power. And it works, because it plays directly in to human nature. We classify ourselves as along political, social, religious, economic lines and so on. We used to agree to disagree and be, if not fine, at least tolerant of opposing views. These matters are central to human social existence and tend resist any attempts at resolution. As a result, each side views the position of the other as a threat to its very existence. The more we lose sight of our commonalities; drifting away from each other and becoming less human. When we group ourselves away from and regard those outside of our group with fear, with hostility, even if, especially when they’ve done nothing – we forget that they are humans too and that makes us part of the problem.
These intractable conflicts are ones that have continued unresolved and seem stuck in their levels of intensity and destructiveness. People tend to strike out at what is different, what they fear, which is bad when what we fear is each other.
It’s worse when we give in to that fear, give in to that desire to inflict as much harm, physical and psychological, on each other as possible. For so many this constant sense of threat and hostility pervades everyday life and overrides our ability to recognize any shared concerns.
For a nation renowned on embracing the different, some in the US seem to have lost sight of this within our own walls. Where will her huddled masses go if Liberty’s torch grows dim?
Will it ever come to a point it blows out?
And the U.S. is but one nation of many nations trying to get its act together, as a people we seem to be doing more and more separating of ourselves from each other. Earth would never be admitted as a member of the UFP as we stand now.
Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 10
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.
Let’s see how other’s are serving up their slices: