This article is in no way intended to be political. It is, however, intended to be thought provoking. My request of those who have an opportunity to read this article is to read it with the intent to be influenced.
Quite often we read and listen with the intent to defend what we already know and believe. As a result, we miss out on opportunities to learn and to grow.
During their campaign in 1980, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as far as we know, were the first to say, “Let's Make America Great Again.”
Former President Bill Clinton criticized the phase as “racist”. He went on to say, “I am actually old enough to remember the good old days, and they weren't all that good in many ways.” Now, depending on your perspective of “Great Again” President Clinton's assessment of “Great Again” may be a true statement or it may be false.
Donald Trump, during his bid to become president of the United States borrowed the tagline “Make America Great Again”, which was originally coined by former President Ronald Reagan.
WAIT, Make America Great Again? When exactly was America Great?
I do not know what context “Make America Great Again” President Reagan or President Trump intended, however, I do understand that the context is a return to a past place in time. A return in history to a time that is identified as optimal, happy, abundant, acceptable, good, pleasing, or satisfying.
Again is an adverb that means returning to a previous position or condition.
Great is an adjective that describes an attribute of an adverb, i.e. “America Again”. Some of the synonyms for Great are: Above normal, significant, exceptional, extraordinary, magnificent, impressive, awe-inspiring. With that awareness, what place in American history can we collectively as a nation identify as “Great”? My question comes with the assumption that the message “Make America Great Again”, is ALL inclusive.
As an individual that has been involved with personal growth and development for over 30 years, human behavior has been my passion; it has been my obsession. I have observed through the behavior of some Americans as they seek to “Make America Great Again” how they define “Great Again”. The incidents of hate and violence against different races and religions have increased considerably in response to the drive to Make America Great Again. Every word that we speak creates a picture. What picture do you see if you are focused on Making America Great Again? Those pictures created by your words identify the behaviors you see as appropriate to restore that historical picture.
I do not believe there is a need for us to go backwards. I believe that we can Make America “Greater” moving forward. I believe there is “Greater” opportunity for me and you personally moving forward. I believe there is “Greater” opportunity for America as a whole moving forward.
I am 59 years old and I have not experienced a greatness in my life or a greatness as an American that I want to return to. Please, don't misunderstand me, my life has been great. I have accomplished some incredible things over the course of my lifetime. America has accomplished some great things over the course of its history and there are opportunities for even greater success in our future.
The context in which “Make America Great Again” is presently being used has been divisive, and it has been dividing communities and people.
In order for you to see this opportunity to Make America “Greater” than we have ever been, you will need to stand in the center. It is only from the center that you can see the entire picture.
If you want the things you are looking at to change, you must change the way you are looking at them.
If you are only looking from your historical prospective, you will only see a portion of the whole and it will look the exact same as it always has historically.
There is a “Greater” America in front of us. An America that is more loving, inclusive, kind, fair, caring, trusting, friendly, supportive, and economically sound.
A Greater America where people are not judged based on the 1% visible to the human eyes. A Greater America where people are judged based on their character.
I know that most of us have been taught to live by the Golden Rule, treat me the way you want me to treat you. My personal preference is to live by the Platinum Rule, treat me the way I want to be treated.
Let's be very clear, there is no one race, gender, or religion that owns America. America is literally a melting pot of ethnicities, cultures, races, creeds, colors, religions, perspectives and belief systems.
Please be aware in this present moment there are very few facts in the world, however, there are a tremendous amount of interpretations and perceptions. If you are seeking to Make America Great Again by treating your interpretations of the facts as if they are the facts, then you will continue to fight against what you don't want in America.
Every one of us has a right to our belief system. Every one of us has a right to our interpretations and perspectives. What makes America great, is we have that right afforded to us ALL through the first amendment.
What will Make America Greater is when we understand that I do not need to make you wrong for me to be right. What will Make America Greater is when I spend my passion and focus fighting for what I want rather than fighting against what I do not want. As I fight for what I want with passion and enthusiasm, it will not require me to hate you or what you stand for. As I fight for what I want, there will be no need for me to kill or injure you.
As I fight for what I want from the center, I become aware that for the most part, you and I want the same things, however, it does not look the same because of where we are standing.
I have a right, and so do you, to believe anything I choose to believe. That is what makes America great. I may not agree with you on economic issues, I may not agree with you on gun laws, I may not agree with you on abortion, I may not agree with you on Medicare for all, I may not agree with you on immigration policy, and that's ok.
As we commit to Make America Greater, I encourage and invite you to fight like hell for what you want and I promise that I will continue to fight for what I want.
If you happen to win the fight through our democratic system, so be it. It is not necessary for me to make you wrong in order for me to prove the validity of what I believe is right. It is not necessary for me to call you names, be violent toward you, or burn down your establishment to get what I want.
There are so many ways we can Make America Greater by fighting for what we want. America will be Greater when women are treated fairly in the work place. When there is no longer a glass ceiling. When people are judged based on their character and not the color of their skin. When kids are all receiving the same access to a great education. When people can worship in whatever way they choose without the fear of being killed.
In what way will you commit today to Make America Greater?
Please realize that the same mind that created great, will not create greater. Move to the center and compassionately look at the entire picture.
Let's work together, hand to hand and heart to heart to Make America Greater.