• Denny Balish

A Letter to Our Country (2020)

Updated: Jul 3

Dear America,

I know you’re hurting now and have been for some time. I feel your pain. We the people have been tampering with your very foundation and the noble principles for which you stand. It’s been a bit ugly, especially of late, and I want to say, on behalf of your citizens, I’m really sorry to put you through this.

Sometimes, I think we turn a blind eye to your suffering because it’s just too painful to witness. Other times, we get sucked right into the thick of it, reeling from the wreckage only human beings can inflict upon each other and the land we call home.

We, your multitude, do this not because we don’t love you. Quite the contrary. We love you fiercely. Most of us wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s just that, well, we haven’t been in our right mind of late.

You have stood by us through thick and thin, like any good parent would do with their troubled child. Please know that I, for one, am grateful.

Maybe we are just experiencing growing pains. Maybe, as a country, we are in early adolescence like a group of gawky teens whose hormones are running rampant causing our collective brain to go off half-crazed.

We have become the mean girls and bully boys lashing out at our differences, creating victims and outcasts in our wake. Some of us have formed little clicks with terms of engagement clearly defined and enforced. Others have been relegated to the outskirts of society, left alone and forgotten.

Maybe we have caused this discord because we cannot stand our awkward adolescent self, so we turn on others. It’s like having millions of teenagers showing up at the local playground at the same time, with attitude. Things are going to get dicey.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. No. Good is rising up from the chaos and confusion we have created. I see evidence of this daily and it gives me hope. Hope for each and every one of us, and for our children.

My thoughts race to questions that I don’t expect you to answer but wish you could, such as:

How can we cultivate beauty at a time in our history where we are so divided and so much is at risk?

How can “we the people” rise up, not to fight, but to spread understanding and kindness in response to countless acts of violence?

How can we give light to the dark underbelly of our nation and find resolution for the hate, anger, and fear that is fueling our current political and societal discourse?

How can we individually, or collectively, form a “more perfect union” where differences are encouraged and celebrated; where we foster life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all?

How can a country born of revolution find its way to peace?

How can we the people collaborate for the good of all our citizens and those we have chosen to embrace?

I have faith that we can. It may take a while—maybe a good long while. It might take longer than we would like, but we are a strong and resilient people and, in the end, I believe reason and understanding will overcome the hate, intolerance, and fear we are now experiencing.

I have faith that love, in the end, will prevail: that our love of country, love of life, and love of our fellow man will reign supreme. I’m keeping hope alive.

Respectfully,

A Humble & Loyal Citizen

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© 2020 by Denny Balish