My favorite word these days seems to be “nuance” and my favorite people are those who point it out to me or help me see more of it. Because it appears to me that nuance has become an undervalued commodity in an age where we deplore British Petroleum but drive SUVs and leave lights on galore; hate the paparazzi and tabloids but inhale the latest about those crazy celebs and their nutty lives; and shake our heads at those zealous Middle Easterners and their constant blood feuds without retracing history to understand why.
We want to live in a black and white world of good versus evil, right versus wrong, and saved versus damned. But the absence of nuance has gotten us all into quite a pickle. Reality is almost never cut and dried, it doesn’t come in 30-second sound bites, and the way out of the mess we seem to be in is neither easily understood or executed.
The problem is that people are too used to it the other way. You can go from hardship to ease relatively easily, but don’t you dare talk to anyone about tightening the belt or giving up the comforts and amenities we are all used to. Because most of us feel entitled to them. And will kick and scream our way into the abyss to protect our “rights.”
The Fourth of July is almost upon us Americans and I will count myself among most of you because I am, after all, a naturalized American citizen and have now lived here for most of my life. And in celebration of the birth of our country, I would like to submit that to think of the collective rather than the individual is not un-American. And to consider the best for all rather than a few is not unpatriotic. In fact, I think selfishness is un-American. Greed is unpatriotic. And to continue to perpetuate disunity and divisiveness is a crime against national security.
How’s that for nuance?
Happy birth of our country.