Several weeks ago, I saw a cartoon singing the praises of the current president. The items consisted mostly of ways that the rich got richer, the climate got dirtier, and businesses got rewarded (ie more rich got richer). There is no doubt that the economy has continued to improve under this president. But at what price?
American has the reputation for being a land of milk and honey. A place where someone who works hard can ‘pull himself/herself up by their bootstraps’ and become rich/powerful/famous. But at what price?
The U.S. has prided itself on having a free press, freedom of speech, academic freedom. The internet and services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been invaded by hackers seeking to influence our government and our civility. We have universal, 24-hour communication. But at what price?
The country continues to be governed by rich white men who while some may be concerned about the common good, they still protect their place in society. But at what price?
Many Americans especially young people are aware of their personal and communal impact on our environment while corporations are given a pass to increase pollution. They stand to makes lots of money. But at what price?
When a society becomes a transactional one, that is, one concerned only with buying and selling – making money – and refuses to recognize the dignity of each person, the price is a loss of our humanity and will be high. Already we see climate disasters around the country…an unraveling working class and their communities … growing homelessness, mental illness, and addiction…even shorter life expectancies. We live in a country where a child is born into poverty every 41 seconds.
The U.S. will only be great again when we become relational and consider the impact of our actions on all our brothers and sisters, especial the least among us. This includes our Mother Earth. Only then will we all regain our dignity, reduce our despair, and repair the divide among us.