I believe we are seeing the unfortunate side of our "understanding" of the September 11 attacks in that the loudest voices are on the far ends of the spectrum. Tea Party members on the far right and liberals on the far left are fighting a battle that makes no sense to much of the population. Yet, as we see with the economy, those few loudest voices seem to have a very large impact.
I believe that we can still learn from well before September 11, 2001, back to our revolutionary forefathers. They obviously did not always see eye to eye, yet they found a way to compromise their way to a Declaration of Independence and Constitution. What would happen today if the folks running our government had to make the decisions that they did? Likely nothing until it was too late.
What we need to focus on, and what we need to pass on to our future generations, is finding a middle path of compromise. We should tone down the vitriolic rhetoric of the far left and right and begin to bring the dialogue to a more compassionate, more controlled, more thoughtful tone. We need to hold all arms of the government accountable and reign them in when they get out of control (i.e. too far off the path that the majority of Americans are on). We need to focus on the most important things that affect the most people and not things that make little sense to the majority, yet take up too much of the government's time.
We need to give our future generations the chance that we have had. We need to look forward with love and compassion and realize that we are on the edge of a deep crevasse that will crumble if we focus on the wrong things. We need to return to compassion, empathy, and love for all humans, not just those who are like us. We need to pass that compassion, that empathy, that love on to our next generation.
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