One of the many concepts recently in discussion is the diversity that we can each celebrate. This concept, although enobling in some aspects, may lie at the heart of many of our troubles in our country today. I say this not to diminish that which make us different, but when we emphasize our differences, we tend to make those the concepts that we can use to exclude others from our group.
One of the key philosophies originated by the founders of this nation was that of "e pluribus unum" ( out of many, one). Until 1952, this was the defacto motto of the United States. It was originally voted on by Congress in 1782 as one of the sayings of the Seal of the United States. When one carefully considers this concept, it reminds us that our founders were more interested in setting aside our differences to join together in making this experiment work by emphasizing our similarities. (or, at least that is one way of looking at it.) When we have been great as a nation in the past , it has been this idea that has shown through to all.
Perhaps we need to look at this overarching concept one again to get ourselves back on track. Too often, in today's world, we look at how we are differenct and how we can distinguish ourselves from the other. Not only is that harmful, because we take the idea of exceptionalism to the personal level, trying to make ourselves better that all others, based upon these distinctions. In our social lives, in our church lives, when we separate, we cause conflict, i.e., "you are not as good as I am". This attitude creates dissension. That just divides us from each other. We need to be finding ways to get along better to prevent things like Ferguson Missouri from happening. Not just here, but world wide.
I've said it before and will repeat here again, we need to look at ways to think of the other person first and look to their needs and requirements before our own. To get out of the selfishness of today's world and move toward one of caring for others first, can only help us improve our overall society.