united.

i guess i have been doing some thinking…some thinking lately which has culminated in this blog, on this particular day in which the country we live in celebrates our independence. probably not ironic at all, actually.

i have been thinking that this country is such a diverse one. i’ve known this, i am sure, even though i have lived most of my life surrounded by people a lot like me. this is not to say that my growing up had been one among homogenous people–we had our differences for sure…
there were whites and blacks [with a few others who didn’t fit into these easily delineated two],
there were christians and non [as well as others who mainly got grouped in the latter category since they didn’t believe like the former],
there were the have and the have wants [separated not by tracks but more locational…east and west side of town],
there were those who pulled for bama and those who pulled for auburn [and if you had affinity for neither you simply weren’t worth counting].

there were differences…differences that we all had to get used to, differences that we all had to deal with, differences that we all had to live with and among.

so i knew of different people living side-by-side [or so to speak], but i saw and experienced it in a different capacity when i moved across the country…across the country to a huge city that seems to beckon people from all over, myself included. and i witnessed it. people much different than myself, yet both of us claiming the same citizenship.
people who hail–generations previous–from places i never knew existed [and i actually paid attention in geography].
people who actually knew the heritage of their people [whereas all i could proudly say is, “i’m from the south.”]
people who were raised differently, who believe differently, who live differently, who talk differently…people who are americans, just like me. yet not like me at all.

and i’ve thought about this over the past few weeks…thought about how all of our differences can be so divisive [regardless of where we live in this united grouping of states].
race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, gender orientation, wealth, privilege, status, sporting teams, sport fans, political parties…some more divisive than others.

and i’ve thought of all i have learned from those who are different than myself–no matter how hard the lesson learned, no matter how hard it was for me to finally learn, no matter how much pride i had to lay down, no matter what i thought i knew–and i am much the better person from encountering these people.
these people who have made me see others objectively,
these people who have filled my heart with compassion,
these people who have made me question the status quo,
these people who have challenged my own beliefs,
these people who i have grown to love as this
united
states of
america.

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