It’s time for a new vision of America — a vision of what could be. We desperately need a new vision based on hope instead of fear, anger, and despair.
Hope and positive actions have the power to transform lives. They can transform communities. And eventually even entire nations.
It’s way past time to stop shrugging off the problems we face.
Past time to find our collective voices and speak out for what’s right.
To stand up against what’s wrong.
And then do something about it.
If not you and me, then who?
It’s way past time to put aside ugly tribal politics that feed an “us versus them” mentality. That kind of mindset promotes fear, hatred, and violence toward those who don’t look, believe, or love like “us.”
Trump’s brand of leadership centers on stoking fear and anxiety, particularly among those who feel that changing demographics, technology, and a more inclusive country threatens their jobs and their futures. In order to keep his base frightened and resentful of anyone different than them, he needs America to be divided. His rhetoric, sprinkled freely with outright lies and name-calling encourages an “us versus them” sense of tribal power and belonging.
America is better than this. Much better.
“Us versus them” thinking has no room for dissenting voices.
No room for opposing political views.
Or honest debate.
No room for diversity.
No room for compassion or kindness or understanding.
“Us versus them” shrieks that the only people who matter are “US!”
It’s time to actually talk with, instead of at each other. To begin loosening the cold grip of fear about “the others.” Talking with people, listening to another point of view is how we can find common ground. Then the conversation can shift to “we” instead of “us versus them.”
It’s time for a new vision of America based on hope instead of fear, anger, and division
We need more people to care enough about our country and about democracy to register to vote. And show up on election day – every single election day – to cast their votes for a stronger economy that offers opportunities for all, one that is not tilted to make the rich even richer and more powerful.
A new vision of America means finding common ground where we can come together to change what needs changing. Create more opportunities for all of us. Bridge the gap between what is and what could be. Reignite hope and compassion and kindness. And to look beyond our differences and understand that we’re all connected through our shared humanity.
Yes, we’ll still have political, religious, ethnic, and cultural differences. And that’s OK because diverse ideas and voices are part of what makes this country a place of opportunity and innovation. Differences don’t mean we have to divide up along those lines and exclude everyone else.
America is better than that. Much better.
Most of us can agree that we need:
Good public schools for all kids
Clean air and water
Jobs that provide a decent, reliable income
College education and vocational training that doesn’t saddle people with enormous debt loads
Bridges, roads, airports, and railroads that are well-maintained
Common standards of decency and respect for all — standards that we all adhere to
Laws that protect consumers from unsafe food, medicines, and products
Who wouldn’t support these things?
That’s where we can find common ground – by zeroing in on what we can agree are essential to providing opportunity, safety, and a brighter future for everyone.
Instead of defaulting to fear and anxiety, a new vision of America needs to focus on hope and positive actions.
Instead of “us against them” thinking, we can decide to shift the conversation to
Where do we agree?
What’s really important?
How can we work together, despite our differences?
It’s time for a new vision of America based on hope and positive action. And the time to begin building that new vision is right now.
10,000 Butterflies is dedicated to planting hope and growing change. Every one of us has the power to create positive change — in our own lives and in the lives of others. Together we can solve problems and build stronger communities. 10,000 Butterflies is a place to connect with others making good things happen, to find resources, to be inspired and to celebrate what connects us instead of what divides us.
Please join us.
Bonnie Pond is the founder of the 10,000 Butterflies Project and author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU!