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Yesterday,  I was saddened when I received an email, in reference to the 2016 election, with the subject line, "America divided is a good thing."  To be clear, I've seen several blogs or email of this nature, but this one was my tipping point.

The author complemented the blog with a video that went on to speak about how contrast and division motivate desire.  I expressed joy for those who may finally be motivated to act.  I also appreciated that there is much to be learned from whatever motivates us and awakens change.

Yet, for me, this does NOT equate with "America divided nation is a good thing" -  especially for those in our society who will deeply suffer from this division.  I cannot help but wonder how this may be received by those who may be suffering.   I liken it to Viktor Frankl's, Man's Search for Meaning.  I appreciate this as one of the more motivating books I have ever read.  It speaks to how his experience with Nazi death camps contributed to his spiritual survival.  Yet, I do not know anyone who would say the holocaust was a good thing (which was top of mind and heart as I wrote this blog, and we honored Holocaust Remembrance Day ♥)

My perspective

From my perspective, people appear disconnected when they speak of the results of the election, and the division of our country, as a "good thing".   I wonder if they are sharing this from a computer, in a comfortable home, in a safe neighborhood.  If they are unaware of their privilege to wax philosophical as others suffer.  They may not be, or may not see that they are, directly or indirectly affected by this loss of freedoms.   To others who read, it may even appear elitist.

I am spiritual and understand the place of the trickster as a catalyst to move us forward.  Yet, for me, saying "a country divided is a good thing" is beyond this spirit.  Beyond kind and compassionate.

My hope

My hope is that others will not use the pain and suffering of some to appear philosophical, capitalize on SEO, or be above it all.  Not declare their position about how good this division may be, under the guise of being spiritual or an open-minded leader.

Let us show true compassion for those who do not have the luxury of perspective because they are too busy bumping head on with the painful reality of losing freedoms, civil liberties, and basic human rights.

As long as you keep it civilized, I am eager to read your reply.  Mean or divisive comments will be omitted.

    7 replies to "America Divided Is NOT a Good Thing – Privilege and Reality"

    • Stef

      Thank you for writing this, Karen. There is so much truth in this: “Unaware that they are privileged to be able to wax philosophical as others suffer.” I had two friends who, in an attempt to better understand the psyche of the other side (I guess?) played the political arguments between each other post-election (I don’t think I’ll ever understand this). This disturbed me so deeply and all I imagined were these two safe, protected people, sitting comfortably in their nice apartment, removed from the horrors of what this election turnout (and all the underlying historic issues that have essentially been pardoned and openly normalized) actually means for people who are directly impacted by this. If we have the privilege of perspective than we need to use our breath and energy to open eyes and influence policies and show compassion and support, not debate whether or not this was a good or bad stimulus for change. Division is a consequence of deeper tensions and false perceptions, it’s never the solution. And for those of us who took this all as a wake-up call, the bigger wake-up call is why we were asleep in the first place.

      • Karen McMillan | YINpreneur

        OMGoddess Stef, your last comment is so inspiring. Why were asleep in the first place?

        One of my intentions, is to help make sure we are wide awake for 2018. I’m open to suggestions on how to help make this happen. I’ll be following you to help me stay awake and informed. Gratitude hugs enclosed. <3

        • Stef

          My plan is to stay educated and informed, dedicating the time and patience to more fully understanding our historical context because history does repeat itself, and then sharing what I learn in the most effective ways I can. Accountability is key to keeping those eyes open. Keep up these important conversations and I’ll be supporting and following you as well! xx

    • Tina Games

      An excellent piece, Karen! ~ And I agree – those who see the division “as a good thing” are viewing it from a place of privilege. They’re in it for “self” – not the collective.

      • Karen McMillan | YINpreneur

        Truly. Commenting from their comfort place. And, some, sadly taking advantage of the SEO element. 🙁

    • John Bambach

      Good one, Karen.
      While it can be argued that some divisions are good, as in the cell divisions that lead to a fully formed human being. Even with cell division, where one becomes two, it’s two becoming one larger, stronger organism.
      Other divisions are not at all positive, as with the unregulated cell division of cancer, or the separation of the head from the body, or the cynical powers that seek to separate empirical truth from political discourse.
      Society begins with separate humans, challenged to function both as individual entities and as a heterogeneous whole working for a common good. It’s a creative tension. Division, on the other hand, moves us backwards, producing suspicion and cynicism and reversing the gains that come from working together.
      Among humans, it’s not division that leads to growth, but tension, forces pulling in different directions.
      The difference is that the forces of division seek power through disconnection (divide and conquer) while the forces of tension are still connected to the same thing and can produce strength and growth.
      Humans thrive in creative tension. But, when we pull in different directions we need never lose sight of our connective tissue, the truths we hold in common.
      To do so would be to divide, and lose.
      “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
      – JFK

      • kmcmillan

        John, Well said (as always) So clear and inspiring. May many read and learn. WE ARE ONE! Sharing this earth. With bigger issues to be concerned about if we want to be on this earth longer.
        luv ya.

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