What path will we take?

Published 9:48 pm Monday, July 3, 2017

By Joseph L. Bass

It is difficult for us to understand our culture. We are born into the American culture, and we live within it all our lives. Our culture varies from place to place, but no matter where we are in the United States, there are common cultural characteristics among us all.

It is important to understand that cultures vary among nations. As a representative republic based on democratic processes we influence our culture through our votes and actions. It is possible for us to take our nation down the wrong path that will prevent us from achieving the ideals we strive to achieve.

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Considering the political changes that have recently occurred and negative economic trends, it is not difficult to see that we as a people need to think about and discuss where we want to take our nation.

A culture involves complex values and relationships among the people. Culture helps define our identity. Culture provides a sense of security and belonging. Another factor involves the importance of trust among members of a group. Societies do not function well when there is mistrust and conflict among members.

Today mistrust and conflict among groups of Americans hinders our capabilities, well being and wealth. Too often this results in flames, violence, and murder.

People fear change, which can result in the loss of their employment and income.

Some nations change too slowly. When change finally does occur, some people must seek other types of employment. These realities cause people to fear change. A nation can become rigid, resulting in a dramatic, sometimes explosive change, instead of slower, productive changes being made over time.

When a rigid nation begins to fail, its production of wealth and the income of the people decline. Sometimes those failing nations become subservient to other nations. Sometimes the very fabric of their ideals changes.

Sometimes declining nations break apart, and civil war follows. We tried that path once before, and it didn’t work too well. Many of the issues we experience friction over today are the same issues from that long-ago conflict.

Today the United States is at a crossroads that involves mistrust and conflict. Groups are politically and economically rigid. Our production of wealth and income have declined. People are unwilling to listen to the views of others. No constructive dialogues are occurring.

Are we going to continue down this rigid path?  Hopefully not. But to take a constructive path, it is necessary for Americans to be willing to talk and develop trusting relationships that will benefit all of us in the long run.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.