Dear Readers,

Like me, you may be wondering how our country can ever come together again as one nation. In every way, we appear to have moved into a new reality, two “countries” in our borders.

What separates us? Misunderstanding that results in two visions of not only who we were and who we are but also of what we are.

We are reminded by historians and previous presidents that democracy – a principle – is what we were founded upon and there are never any guarantees that we can keep it, as John Adams famously warned us at our very beginning.

There is no denying that social media and even our news networks polarize the public discourse and give easy venue to every voice no matter how glorious or how despicable. These changes have occurred in such as short span of time that most of us don’t recognize the impact unless we have the fortitude to turn it off — the constant electronic feed of images, information, and angst.

To save ourselves and our Republic, we each now must make a decision. How will we take responsibility in our own circles of influence to grasp hold of the treasure of that idea – a democratically motivated public – to save it and to improve it?

I would offer this. M. Scott Momaday, author and Kiowa elder, has written in A Man Made of Words, that words matter — words carry in them a force for good or evil, repair or destruction. Words also carry a nation’s experience and deep culture and history.

We must use words with care, more care now than ever. How can you and I speak, write, and create words that will bring us together again for that noble goal of creating a self-governing society in which each individual is treated equally, his or her rights considered as sacred among us?

How can we each use our voices to unite the nation again, and even though we may disagree, use words of respect and acknowledgement while disagreeing?

Our republic, a representative form of government, is built on words. We can oppose ideas as a loyal opposition, i.e. loyal to the ideal, the principle, that is the basis of our national identity.

What might happen if each of us choose our words with democracy in mind, with the knowledge that words can protect it or destroy it?

That is our choice now.

Taking Flight. Photo by Susan Feathers

Emergence Magazine Essay about words, words expressed in the language of trees. Relates to this article by shaking up our imagination. https://emergencemagazine.org/story/deciphering-words-in-the-woods/