Anyone that goes to this school knows the line “We are Virginia Tech.” A famous line written by Nikki Giovanni after the events that transpired on April 16, 2007. A broken people brought together under a common banner of unity.
Division eats at the heart of who we are as a nation. Division has torn this country, quite literally, in half and many other times it divides it up with invisible borders. An “Us versus them” mentality wins out as people try to unite under what they feel is safe or comfortable – something that they can cling to and then they naturally fear the alternative.
It’s sad to see this country’s fabric tested over something that should be honorable. It’s a depressing notion that we fight our friends over a matter of opinion. We reach across the aisle and instead of holding hands; we slap one another with what we think to be righteousness. And why? That person you admonish and cut away at is only choosing what they think is best.
A difference of opinions doesn’t mean that either person is “right” or “wrong.”
Our society’s predicated on a sense of togetherness. Neighbors helping one another, volunteers providing clothing for those that can’t afford it, and passersby that drop some money in the cup of a man who’s fallen on hard times. We don’t ask their political affiliation before we help them, we don’t care what God they believe in, nor do we need to worry about what gender they fancy.
Because, at the end of the day, we’re all just humans trying to make our way through life. And more than that – we’re all Americans who have been fortunate enough to be born in the greatest country on Earth.
So before you seek to breakdown and tear apart those around you, before you sacrifice that friendship: ask yourself if it’s worth it. I implore you to think of whether or not you’re truly gaining anything from doing so or if, at the end of your post, you’ll only have lost a friend and incited anger into someone’s life.
Remember when you were a child? It didn’t matter what that other boy thought about anything other than they were good at baseball and you wanted to learn from him. That’s all that mattered. There was no questioning of personal preferences before you were able to be friends with them. Why did that ever have to change? Why can’t we grow to understand one another rather than growing apart and throwing wrenches into friendships because of a misguided sense of principle?
We are America. America does not exist in an office in Washington nor on a piece of paper. America exists because we exist. The values and beliefs of the people are what create a nation.
It is for this reason that no election, no person, no declaration should ever force us to pause for a moment and question our friends. Nor should it ever cause us to hesitate in making new ones.
We are all Americans.
The government can be Blue or Red
But it doesn’t matter.
We will still be Americans.
It’s up to you if we should remain
I truly hope we can.
So, with that said... I implore everyone to stop for a moment and think about what you say. Is it going to build relationships or will you contribute to the division that’s happening in this country?
I sincerely hope that every year and every moment we can be a united people, a people that want a better future – even if we have different beliefs on how to attain it. Passion is good – it shows you care but that doesn’t warrant vitriol or slander. Debate all you wish but try to remember that we must live with one another after the dust clears. We’ve no choice but to interact... Would you rather continue working with people you can call friends or not?
It’s up to us to preserve this as a country that’s worth fighting over.
I want to work towards a brighter future with you, will you join me?