With all the fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and other places on this big blue globe we humans share, we as Americans forget one faction of people from other parts of the world who fight inwardly everyday for rights we take for granted. These people want only one small thing. To worship freely and openly as Christians, Judaism, Buddhist, Catholics, and yes Muslims, plus the many other faiths that form the world population.
We as Americans, many of us living in the suburbs of our cities and towns, surrounded by nationalities from throughout the globe, cannot understand why they, the Eastern cultures, have such a hard time coexisting with each other in their own countries.
Each day, we shop side by side, drive our vast transportation routes, eat in restaurants, walk down the street, and live side by side with every religion known to man. And, as Americans, we accept the cultural differences that make our nation the true melting pot of the world.
One cul-de-sac in the state of Washington is a perfect example of human diversity. Korean, Chinese, Mexican, Argentine, and yes born and bred white and black Americans all live side by side. Their children ride their tricycles and bikes together, play hopscotch, while some hide behind the beautiful tall evergreens playing the age-old game of hide and seek.
Neil Diamonds song, “They’re Coming to America” rings like the liberty bell herself as people from around the world jockey for a place in this country that our ancestors developed out of sweat and fortitude of wanting to live and pray in a free country. They came to the new country in the 1500’s searching for religious freedom from persecution. They are still coming. Not for the riches some say, but for peace and tranquility to worship God, in whatever designation they call their deity, without fear of intimidation.
Our founding Fathers came in boats, with little more than the clothes on their backs to a new country which was vast and for them, uninhabitable, but peopled by Native Americans who were astounded to see people clothed in alien looking garb, speaking a language they couldn’t understand, and in the beginning were capitulating and helpful to these newcomers. It wasn’t until the newcomers pushed into their hunting grounds, took over their land and pushed them further from their sacred places, that they began to fight back. And unfortunately we know the ‘rest of the story.’
Today, in the year of our Lord, two-thousand and fourteen, we can look back and see what these Native Americans gave up. Many of us are ashamed of what was done to them, and many will say, “well that was then.” But, now we have a similar situation.
People are coming to our land who may wear unique clothing, speak a foreign language, and try hard to absorb into our culture. They, as our forefathers are looking for a place in the sun to breathe in a culture of freedom.
Christians have become a minority in many Eastern countries, and they not only feel hated but many are killed because they carry a Bible and try to live a Christian life. So they wait for years to be a part of the quota system, to come to America where they know they can find somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere to live, work, and pray in their own unique way.
Yes there are many things that are written about us ‘ugly Americans’, but the bottom line is we will accept these people, for what and who they are, despite their color or religion. And every July fourth celebration brings home the original observance of ‘Let Freedom Ring.’
Yes, we Americans have our problems, but just once go out of this land of ours and you will see how lucky we are.
When the cars leave our tiny cul-de-sac, they go to their religious place of worship, their jobs where culture is not mixed with religious underpinning and where their children are not attacked because they are different or have an accent.
Stand back and watch a group of children playing in a park, together. Side by side on a swing set, laughing and playing without fear they will be shunned by others for whom they are. A mixture of cultural diversity, together, only wanting a piece of peace. Holding hands while they hopscotch over cracks in the pavement, not holes in the ground from mortar rounds. Not running around in circles from fear, but running and playing in a free nation of individuals, for the people, and by the people, who long ago formed a free union, for which they can now live, work and pray in whatever form they choose.
Let us never forget that our cultural diversity is our strength, and we must savor that mixture. Because in that mixture we will continue to walk with our heads held high and be a light unto the world population that struggles every day for what we take for granted.
We as Americans must remember it didn’t happen overnight in our union of states. Then as now it took working together, to form a perfect union and blending of compassion and willingness to overcome the myriad of cultures in our United States of humanity.
Pray for the world, for they are now at the cornerstone of where we were when our forefathers sought the freedoms we hold so dear today. Through the turmoil of this century can come understanding and peace. Though we sit in our comfy living rooms and watch the worlds chaos, saying, “I don’t understand why they can’t get along,” we were formerly in their shoes. And time, is the key.