In this time of partisan politics and societal narcissism, we, as a people – both individually and as a society – often forget the underlying idea behind e pluribus unum, “out of many, one,” our national motto. It is based in a notion that many individuals can come together to form a society – a free, civilized society, where each individual not only executes self-reliance and individual responsibility, but a level of benevolence and compassion that produces the feeling of a unique identity; of national “family.” But these modern times betray our roots, in action, thought and deed, making us (or many of us anyway) unworthy of the motto itself.
From the Baby Boomer “Me Generation” to the “Gen X-ers,” “Millenials” and “New Silent Generation,” each has been instilled with not only a unearned and falsely elevated sense of self-worth, but an entitled and self-centered sense of being that has led us away from e pluribus unum; away from the benevolence of brotherhood; away from the compassion that creates a truly civilized society. This has come to pass through the manipulation of our people by political opportunists and the elitism of the Progressive Movement.
I could delve into the minutia of the groups that have foisted this malady upon our nation, but that is not the focus of this article. Identifying these culprits as the source of the cancer does not serve to cure the cancer. But it does allow us to see how the cancer spreads. It spreads through the vicious concept of “divide and conquer.” Those who thirst for power instead of righteous service to the nation serve their lust by dividing our people to stand against ourselves. They pit labeled group against labeled group, fomenting resentment, envy, fear and even hated for our fellow man, simply so create a larger sub-group than their competitors, and simply to attain power and the ill-gotten riches that tearing apart a peoples affords.
Truth be told, the overwhelming number of Americans want and strive for the same things: a house (so it can become a home), comfort (so they can achieve safety), a meaningful and un-manipulated education for our children (so they can embrace the opportunities before them) and freedom to associate (family and friends). Yes, there are other aspects of agreement amongst the great majority of Americans, but these serve to make my point. We as Americans have more in common that we do in difference. It is the power seekers and the special interest Progressives who seek to pit us against one another; who quest to divide us to crisis so that they can provide the next “final solution.”
We, as a people, have lost our way. We have forgotten what it is to be truly benevolent, to be truly kind and caring. We have been conditioned to seek victimhood over a call to sacrifice; conditioned to put ourselves and our personal desires ahead of our brothers and sisters’ basic needs; to abdicate loyalty to others should the task of loyalty become burdensome. We have forgotten one of the greatest “rules” of all time, “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you…” I would add to that, to be so bold, that an overwhelming majority of Americans have also become conditioned to believe that government is the only answer; the only solution; the only entity capable of helping the victim, the needy, the destitute, those without hope. Perhaps this last notion – that government is the only answer – is the most evil lie of all, society’s cancer, the destroyer of our Republic.
You may ask what brought me to these thoughts. It wasn’t a political event or discussion. It wasn’t a book or a film. It was, simply, painfully, the passing of my dog; loyal, caring, steadfast, true and loving without condition.
At 3:13am, June 25, 2014, my good friend of 11 years and 11 days, Reilly, slipped the captive bonds of this world to escape the pain that the ravages of age inflict upon all living things.
He was a confidant and a companion; the gentlest being I have ever encountered. Never encumbered by the trappings of humanity’s flaws, the love he exuded was palpable by even the harshest cynic.
Even as I grieve his loss – a sadness more crippling than I ever imagined it would be, I can’t help but feel his loyalty; his gentleness; his unconditional love touching my heart from beyond, as if to feel him lick my face and lay his head on my lap, looking up to me with those compassionate, true and soulful eyes to say, “It’s okay, Daddy. We’ll get through this.”
True, honest, loyal, giving and loving: benevolent. From the moment I held him as a puppy to his last seconds being held in my hands, he executed what we as a nation have taken for granted. He, my wife Nancy and I became a “family,” we became “one,” without condition or caveat. The addition of his sister, Coulter, completed our little family. E pluribus unum, if only for our small part of the world.
Last night, as Nancy and I lay for the first moments of a life without Reilly, I said, “Well, he’s God’s dog now.” To which, Nancy replied, “He was always God’s dog. He just let you play with him awhile.” Truer words, I have come to accept, I don’t think have ever been spoken.
I am thankful for each minute, each second I shared with Reilly, and I will always remember him with the greatest of affection – in unconditional love – and with a heartfelt gratitude for that special relationship; that special time that passed much too quickly. I miss him, and I will miss him – Reilly, my trusted friend – terribly.
In his passing I have found my renewed desire to execute benevolence and to guard against those who would affect division amongst we Americans; affect transgression against e pluribus unum. I hope that whatever your catalyst is for your rededication to this principle does not come complete with the anguish mine did.
To my friend Reilly, God bless you my good boy. Daddy loves you…he always will. Time for sleeping.