It’s A Human Issue
“It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
But I know, A change gonna come, oh yes, it will.”
What is the defining moment in your life? Every generation has one. For me, it was 9/11. Like many, I watched it on television. We were close enough to taste the acrid smoke for days. Living where I did, every person I knew was affected in some way. Millions of lives adjusted course due to the events of one day. How many of us truly ever got back on the path we were on?
For some of you, a moment like that is right around the corner.
Everywhere you look, every news story is about a major human crisis. Women are finally finding the support they need to tell their stories of sexual abuse; and perhaps more importantly they are being heard. The issue of race, from Black Lives Matter to Charlottesville and beyond, is a subject that is constantly in the headlines. The fate of thousands of Dreamers could mean being ripped from the only world they have ever known and sent to a foreign land with no resources. The divisions in faith, social class and sexual orientation are becoming wider and deeper daily. The health crises in Flint, MI (still without clean drinking water) and Puerto Rico are basically lost in the noise.
Take any of these subjects, go to a coffee shop and fire it in the air like a flare. Before those words touch the ground, sides will be taken and lines will be drawn. You won’t be able to miss the red and blue uniforms and the drool dribbling from the corner of the mouths of the most rabid. They will use their talking points like shields and their Twitter wit like spears to injure their enemies…all while their children look on in fear and disgust. The world is so lost in what each of these issues mean to their parties, that they lose fact of the Most. Important. Part.
These are not political issues. They are HUMAN ones.
We shouldn’t live in a world where a video of a white police officer playing football with children of color receives praise. Men shouldn’t be commended for not pushing themselves on their female colleagues. Have we gotten so out of touch that we need to point out what should be the norm to justify the actions of others?
55 years ago when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ”I Have a Dream” speech, he reminded the world that the US Constitution has given each and every one of us three unalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He stated that the United States had “defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” I would argue that 55 years later, we still haven’t paid up in full as a nation, and that there are others that should be added to that list.
These HUMAN issues will play out in the elections this coming November. Every political issue has a human component to it. You owe it to yourself and your fellow citizens to look into your heart and the eyes of your loved ones before you make decisions this year. Look at the issues. Forget what your party tells you to do. LOOK AT THE ISSUES and make an informed decision based on YOUR beliefs.
This November is the moment where there will be another seismic shift in the course of many lives. YOU will play a role in that shift. Will you allow others to make decisions for you, or will you be able to look back one day and say you did your part in making America HUMAN again?