American town reports another day of harmony and peace.
There’s a headline you won’t see anytime soon, right?
And why is that?
Because it doesn’t sell. Turmoil, unrest, conflict – that sells. Citizens happily living together? Not so much.
The pockets of violence, of racial unrest, of social-fabric-tearing protest, are really pretty limited in the overall landscape of life. But you’d never know that from watching the news.
Most of us just go about our business, showing kindness and respect to our neighbors, regardless of creed, color, or socioeconomic background. That doesn’t sell newspapers. But it does speak very well of much of our society.
Here was our day yesterday:
– My wife prefers to buy meat at a smaller supermarket in town. People of all sorts of backgrounds and races shop there (Franklin has a significant number of Hispanic and African-American residents). She remarked again yesterday how people greet each other by name, and chat, and really enjoy the shopping experience together.
– While we were at the community pool, an adorable little African-American boy, teeth chattering from the still-chilly water, pulled himself up on the side of the pool and just starting talking to us. Like it was perfectly normal. Which it is.
– My wife and I visited Arrington Vineyards for a wine tasting that evening and we were blown away by the sight of hundreds of people peacefully and happily picnicing on the lawn, listening to jazz and enjoying some wine by sunset. All races and ages; no tension or discomfort.
I’m not naive; I know we still have a long ways to go in this country with our various divisions. From time immemorial there have been tribal, racial, religious, and regional tensions leading to oppression and wars – on every continent, and in every age. But all across this land there are people living in freedom and harmony and mutual respect. I see it (and practice it) in my business. I see it in our schools and neighborhoods and churches.
I see color. And I see color-blindness. Lots of it.
Community picnics don’t make headlines. But they do make a wonderful portrait of the melting pot – imperfect, but moving forward – that is America. Millions of us – every day – get along just fine, thank you very much.
There are people with a vested interest in portraying the United States as some uniquely horrible place where hate-filled people are continually putting the screws to every sub-group ever identified. And we have our ugly corners; no doubt. But every so often, we need to turn our attention away from the conflict, and enjoy the beauty that flourishes in this land founded on principles of freedom, opportunity, and equality.
We are a blessed people.
P.S. Ugly, negative, and racist comments will not be approved to appear on this post. Because that’s precisely the point.