North America is a magically spectacular land to be explored from coast to coast, border to border. From Yellowstone Park, once described as the gateway to hell, to the bayous of Louisiana to the concrete jungles of New York, Chicago and Washington D.C., warm and generous people are out and about, ready to smile, laugh, and tell you their stories.
Of course, there are assholes as well. Far too many. Sadly, this seems to be the demographic with the most momentum. As people move toward radical extremes, both right and left, hatred rages and our the pressures on our republic threaten to split us apart like pressure building between tectonic plates.
We can blame it all on covid. Or we might point to elected leaders with screwed up priorities (and why did we elect them?). Ultimately the only way to restore the beauty of America is from the inside, individual by individual. Why do people hate? Look at what they’re crying out for and offer an olive branch before they do something that hurts us all. No one can solve all their problems, but if we open our ears to someone who is angry, bitter, or withdrawn, maybe we can prevent another act of violence.
Tolerance should not be seen as an act of cowardice or a compromise of submission to someone else’s ideals. Rather, recognize the reasons for differing points of view and respect our neighbors, those brothers and sisters of democracy, as valid. Join in manifesting the diversity that makes our continent special. Celebrate our differences and savor all of what our country represents, from Old Faithful to the Washington monument.