Ours is a resilient nation, a people determined to keep trying to get it right, and so sure of our values that we fail to understand why everyone around the world doesn’t see that if they would just do it our way…
So what are we so afraid of?
We’re afraid of losing our cultural identity if too many people from other cultures “invade” us.
We’re afraid of whatever horrendous pictures get the most prominence and can be quickly polled for the “public” reaction, therefore requiring immediate political posturing.
We’re afraid “those people” (categorized by religion, or race, or ancestry, or something that differentiates “them” from “us”) want to take over our cave and drag our women off by the hair and take our warm pelts and turn us out into the wilderness where all the scary animals are.
We’re afraid we’re losing what we think we remember as the values of “the good old days” which actually weren’t so great – especially if you were female, or black, or Chinese, or poor, or homosexual, or anyone else occasionally classified as “the other.”
We’re afraid because so many sources tell us we should be: cable television, radio talk shows, overcautious parents, ”the sky is falling” alarmists, political consultants, focus groups, tweeters. We do have enemies, personally and nationally. And just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.
And yet, we live in the most prosperous, productive, secure experiment in self-governance in history. And the trajectory is forward.
We’re not the first and probably won’t be the last to attempt such a noble human experiment, but on balance the only thing we should be afraid of is of not living up to or fully appreciating the stage of evolution we’ve managed to reach. We may be barely out of the slime, but we live in interesting times.
Now if we could just stop killing each other.