Common

The common man. Is there such a thing any more? Is there a certain basis on which the values, actions, and lifestyles of the mass of society can be judged? It interests me to see that the idea of a commonly bonding philosophy or shared ideal continues to decline. Multiculturalism, the much-lauded, mixed blessing of the modern world tells us that diversity is to be praised as a hallmark of a strong society. But is this truly the case? Is there such a thing as too diverse?

In the founding years of our nation, immigrants from the world over flocked to a land where they could be free of religious persecution, Old World prejudices, and dead end lives. America represented a shining beacon of opportunity. These people brought with them the cultures of dozens of nations. Naturally these people groups came into conflict with one another. This conflict was the natural expression of racial and cultural differences, and seeped into government because, after all, the government was run by these same people.

Yet they had a respect and commonly held belief in at least a few things. The exceptionalism of America and the freedom to do as you saw fit to name a few. Though different and sometimes at odds with one another, over time they unified and formed the amalgam of culture that is America. Thus the great melting pot analogy was born.

But today you see the purposeful division of groups of people by none other than the social institutions, federal government, and corporate entities that claim to protect them.  The natural integration of society is halted for the purposes of vote buying, victimizing, and marketing. By promoting this idea that people are defined by their race, creed, cultural background, sexual orientation, gender,etc. society as a whole has sharpened the conflicts between these groups. There is no room any more for the idea of the common person. There is no longer anything to be held in commonality among each other!

While I know that this post is more political than my usual fare, I just felt like I needed to get this out. Any comments or thoughts on this subject are appreciated! Do you find that there are values or concepts that you hold in common with people outside of your immediate family and community?

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Today’s post is a re-blog from a very cool site called Morning Story and Dilbert. This post has a great story illustrating the fact that simply giving money to the less fortunate often times doesn’t have the same impact or the same expression of love that taking the time to really care about the person does. Money is great but in this story the man was touched so much more by a thoughtful gift. To me it is a reminder that these type of situations aren’t solved simply by giving away money, but by interested, involved communities that care for each other and help to meet each others’s needs.

Morning Story and Dilbert

He was kind of scary. He sat there on the grass with his cardboard sign, his
dog (actually his dog was adorable) and tattoos running up and down both
arms and even on his neck. His sign proclaimed him to be “stuck and hungry”
and to please help. I’m a sucker for anyone needing help. My husband both
hates and loves this quality in me.

I pulled the van over and in my rearview mirror, contemplated this man,
tattoos and all. He was youngish, maybe forty. He wore one of those
bandannas tied over his head, biker/pirate style. Anyone could see he was
dirty and had a scraggly beard. But if you looked closer, you could see that
he had neatly tucked in the black T-shirt, and his things were in a small,
tidy bundle. Nobody was stopping for him. I could see the other drivers take
one look and…

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