We all have common ground we can gather on
Last week was spring break for Hayesville’s school system which means the sports section is thin this week. Keeping with the theme of taking a break, I decided to take a break from sports in this week’s column.
Week in and week out I write about winners and losers. I focus on competition and rankings. Spotlight victory and defeat. It’s story after story of who performed better. All of that is fine when you are talking sports but it has a negative affect when talking about life.
Our society has divided people into different groups and has put a ranking on each group. We determine people’s worth to society by their paycheck. Think about it, we refer to the richest people as the “top one percent.” In reality, I know people in Clay County whose home would not be on the cover of magazines but the amount of help they bring to people through volunteer work is immeasurable. The fact they live on a fixed income that is lower than a standard set by the higher ups does not mean they are less valuable.
I use that example but we all can think of other ways we are categorized and ranked. Unfortunately this can lead to us forgetting we have something in common with everyone.
We all face the same struggles and can share each other’s frustration. No matter if you are in a Ferrari or a Focus I know there has been a time when you were minding your own business when a car streaks out from a side street directly in front of you, causing you to either pray for protection or forgiveness depending on how you handle the surprise. Then just when you catch your breath, the demonic vehicle travels 10 feet and turns off. Instead of losing your mind maybe think of the time you accidentally cut off a driver when changing lanes.
I often find myself fighting high blood pressure in drive through lanes when the person in front of me takes an eternity to order. I think, “All you have to say is, ‘Give me a number blank with a blank to drink’ so what could possibly take so long?” However, when I’m in the vehicle with my wife and two kids, everyone knows what they want to order until we pull up to the window and then a U.N. conference breaks out. A discussion of healthy options breaks out along with the talk of trying something new. No matter how long the conference takes the result usually ends with me ordering nuggets and a milk shake just so I’m not the guy in line everyone is hating.
My point is we can all relate to each other in some way. Believe it or not, Republicans and Democrats can be friends on Main Street even if they aren’t on the Beltway. All races have the struggle of kids moving at a snail’s pace when you are in a hurry to leave. Every religious congregation has people who sign up to volunteer and then don’t show up.
If we all start focusing on our commonalities instead of our differences, life would be less like a sports competition and more like joint effort.
E-mail Travis at: firstname.lastname@example.org