Dear Editor, 

We can be better than this.
The other day my children were squabbling over a math equation. One was determined that 8+8=18, while her sister was adamant that it equaled 28. Of course neither was correct, and I eventually had to step in to tell them that. The funniest part, though, was when I tried to tell them the answer was actually 16 and they didn’t believe me either! I started to grab the calculator, but decided they needed to work together to solve this conundrum. I opened the school drawer, pulled out the number charts, laid them out on the table in front of them, and walked away. It only took about 45 seconds for them to come to the same conclusion, Mom was right. 8+8=16.
We expect this behavior from 6/7 year old school children, but do we realize that we often act the same way?!? We’ve lost the art of debate, and the ability to disagree without destroying those we disagree with. Furthermore, teamwork is thrown out the window in our, "Us against them" mentality, and the funniest part is that so often we’re ALL wrong. We’re certainly all wrong when we fail to seek the wisdom of the only One Who is always right.
Our forefathers squabbled a lot too. They held town hall meetings that lasted weeks and even months. At one such meeting, the Constitutional Convention, the delegates were at an impasse. Finally, 81 year old Benjamin Franklin stood to address the assembly with these famous words, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
With that, the delegates were dismissed. They went home to their families, hit their knees, and prayed for the wisdom of Almighty God, and when they returned, the greatest man made document in the history of mankind was birthed, our United States Constitution.
Our nation is in distress because we have turned our back on the God of our fathers, and even though we will stand up in church on Sunday and “Amen” our preachers when they say that, we fail to practice it in our daily lives, here, locally. The Bible commands that when we have aught against our brother, we should first pray and ask God to show us our own faults, so we can repent and seek forgiveness. Then, if it’s still necessary, we should go to that brother and privately discuss our offense.
It doesn’t tell us to immediately engage in a social media war and try to gather as many folks as we can to our side of the debate so we can snuff the other side out of existence.
When we do it God’s way, we often come to a deeper understanding of where our brother is coming from. Instead of throwing him in a box of everyone we disagree with, we begin to see his heart, and understand his convictions. Sometimes, we begin to see that our perception is skewed as well. Together, we seek God and find the correct solution to our disagreement.
Blasting people on social media drives them away. We create more enemies than we do friends, and we weaken our communities, and in turn, our nation. This is a small town, and we are allowing several matters at hand to destroy friendships, rip apart families, and divide a once flourishing and beautiful area. Shame on us.
Our forefathers designed a constitutional republic and gave even the poorest among us, a voice! That right comes with a great responsibility, the burden to use our voice, and our vote, to perfect what they started instead of continuing to tear it down. Not one of us is more important than our neighbor, and not one opinion is less noble than another. We are the heartbeat of America. If we want the 50 states that make up this nation to be united, then we must BE united. We can’t watch the national news, shake our heads at the problems going on “Out there”, and pretend they don’t start “Right here”. Instead of judging one another’s motives, we need to be listening to one another’s concerns. Instead of sulking in our losses or parading in our victories, we need to be coming back together to find the solution to the problems still at hand, for then we will be able to truly succeed

Ali Brown
Cleburne County