Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Color of the Uniform Trumps the Color of the Skin

I was sitting in the waiting room of the hospital this morning and observed two men in conversation. The first approached the second because of the Vietnam Veterans cap that he was wearing. It turns out that they were in the same unit at different times, separated only by a year or so. They were brothers in a common cause.
They knew some of the same people.
They each told their stories to the other.
It was as if they already knew each other.
As if they were long lost friends.

One was white.
One was black.

I know that shouldn't be a big deal, but I was thinking about the racial tension in our country at the time of their service. If I had closed my eyes, there would have been no indication that these two men weren't just old friends that met in the mid sixties without any indication of the racial hatred that was so much a part of the era.

I don't think that we should need to have a common enemy to see past the color of our skin and to see that we have positive things in common. We shouldn't need to be fighting for our lives to live in harmony. There are plenty of good things that we share. Why can't we focus on them?

After 9-11, we ignored political differences. We ignored geographical differences. We weren't red states or blue states. We weren't black Americans or white Americans. We were Americans and we worked together.
We honored our police, firefighters, first responders and military personnel. When we were attacked, we banded together, we stood side by side and we were one country.

Sure, we had different ideas about how to respond and how to finance our responses ...
... but we were united in purpose.

It is just crazy that we need a disaster or war to bring us together!
What is wrong with us?
Do we have a need to hate?
A need to fight?

Is it greater than our need to love?
Is it greater than our need to belong?

It was a really nice moment.
 ... but it makes me wonder...

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

A sense of comradeship under adverse conditions can do it. It was a nice moment.

Big Sky Heidi said...

You're very perceptive.