“In the words of the late Ed Sullivan, America is putting on a really “Big, Big Show!” Those of us who are fully committed to metaphysical principals have deeper concerns that cannot be veneered. For us, it is living with the ever-present reality of how we handle ourselves individually and collectively that has an irreversible impact on this planet for hundreds of generations to come.
America has always assumed an important leadership role on this planet. Certainly since World War I our actions at home and abroad have played a significant role in dictating the direction of humankind. We have inherited this responsibility more as the result of a legacy left by our Founding Fathers than by the request of other nations.
We were founded as a nation of immigrants. Seldom could one lay claim to a long and glorious family history. We were nomads, restless in mind and spirit searching for an oasis and a fertile land to call home. Our ethnic heritage has held strong over the years and has been a source of pride to individuals and communities alike. We have always taken pride in pointing to our distant fatherlands and proclaiming our parental blood lines. We are everything embodied in the Statue of Liberty and more.
By the 19th century, America was recognized as the melting pot of the world, harboring just about very ethnic group known to the planet. However, today we find ourselves on the brink of the new world. Our world is much different, in fact, totally alien to that which was ever conceived by our Founding Fathers. When there Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in those tumultuous days of the 1700’s, no one even dreamed that 200 plus years later, the Constitution they were drafting would blanket a land that stretched from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans in a coverlet required to drape across a national bed 3,000 miles wide. What those gentlemen conceived was nothing more than 13 strong, independent colonies, free of the Monarchy and intent upon their own destiny. They met the challenges of their time, and they left the future and challenges to those who were bound to follow.
Our challenge today is the ultimate test of the strength of our national fabric. Placed in a position of world leadership, we can neither plead weakness or disinterest in determining the future of the world and all who inhabit it. As a country, we have seldom, if ever, turned our backs on a challenge. We have committed ourselves to the rest of the world as no country has ever done before us. We have met our responsibilities and then some. We have been both loved and hated for our willingness to commit to the good of our fellow humans.
However, today we are in quicksand, and we are not fully aware of it. Today, we still offer the concepts of our Founding Fathers and of our melting pot heritage as the menu of democracy. It is a menu that produces social, economic, and spiritual indigestion among Americans and their fellow humans abroad. Our leaders, our captains of industry, and our citizens are blind to the demands of a new world and times that are separating themselves from the umbilical cord of history. If we are to survive and to lead this world into its new era, we must do it with an awareness of the future and a willingness to divorce ourselves from the past.
Our first step must be a redesign of the fabric of unity that makes this country the United States of America. Proud of our ethnic heritage and threatened by a world in war and chaos, we have clung more closely to our former lands. We speak of ourselves as Italian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Jewish-Americans, German-Americans, African-Americans and White Anglo-Americans. We speak of ourselves as something else before we speak of ourselves as solely Americans. We have depreciated our cohesive force as a nation. We are more interested in holding to our own ethnic piece than joining fully with all other pieces to produce a new fabric with a national pattern. We have become a nation divided, if indeed, we have ever been a united nation at all. We wave foreign flags and proclaim foreign languages and hold to our ethnic needs over our communal requirements. What we must understand is that although that was what was necessary to establish our national fabric over the past 200 plus years will no longer serve us for the next 200 years.
The world must now be lead by a united people, a dedicated people, a determined people, who proclaim their unity though action and not rhetoric. It is time for us to put aside our ethnic blankets and wrap ourselves in a common flag. How can this nation send a message to its congress when every interest is predicated upon ethnic pride and regional greed? How can we dare tell the world that we are The United States of America when every action and every path we tread proclaims our disunity? Must we have wars to unite us? Must we be a nation of disaster before we can be a nation of leadership? If that is our destiny then this country and our beautiful planet is doomed. We must start now to think and act like a nation united. We must send the message to our representatives in Washington that every bill and every piece of legislation must be designed to strengthen our national fabric.
We must take the democratic steps to remove those who still serve special interest groups at the cost of national unity. We must, to a person, recognize that the survival of this world rests on the quality of this country’s leadership. This leadership cannot be discharged by a nation of parts. To those of you who care and who have a metaphysical commitment to yourselves, to mankind, and to this planet I send this message. Work first to strengthen yourselves. Having done that, divest yourselves of prejudices and lay your ethnic heritage to rest. Proclaim yourselves as Americans to the rest of the world, not in boasting terms, but in terms of caring enough to keep the promises established by our forefathers. Carry forth the traditional torch of freedom with a new light of leadership. It is time that we manifest the motto of our founders: “E Pluribis Unum” – OUT OF MANY, ONE.” – Gregge Tiffen 2008