My own family may have needs or wants that I care no less about because of how I feel. That each has enough becomes the priority.
As a country, the United States is rich beyond measure. Because we have chosen corporate profit over the health and well-being of our citizenry is not justification for turning an others child back to a life that may include abuse, prostitution, drugs, and death.
Will I feel anger at even having to consider the impact on each? Of course. I pray the anger gets focused where it need be, on the power structures that thrive on divisiveness; on pitting the weak against the powerful, making one feel greater than the other. I pray that at the end of the day, we find a way to care for all.
It’s not naivete to desire enough for each of us. My country has become one that encourages excellence at the expense of the weak and unfortunate. It justifies hatred and poverty as being the result of a lack of willpower or desire to better oneself, when the truth is that we’re just fearful of the other. Afraid the rich won’t be as rich. It will send a child to die because the power structure has convinced it that there is not enough.
We rally round the troops when they’re armed and dangerous, then let them wither and die when they need wheelchairs, drug abuse and PTSD counseling or physical therapy to get used to plastic limbs that replace the ones blown off. We value the strong and discard the weak. We spend billions on our sports gladiators, but can’t find the money to feed each other. We’ll support a weapons industry with trillions of dollars, and march in the streets when a busload of scared and lonely children simply want a safe place to sleep and a glass of water.
The American Dream? Not dead. But buried.