This Is Not About Politics

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“I come without explanations or solutions. I can only tell you what I have seen. On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know. 
 
At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know. 
 
At a time when nativism could have stirred hatred and violence against people perceived as outsiders, I saw Americans reaffirm their welcome of immigrants and refugees. That is the nation I know. 
 
At a time when some viewed the rising generation as individualistic and decadent, I saw young people embrace an ethic of service and rise to selfless action. That is the nation I know. 
 
This is not mere nostalgia; it is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been – and what we can be again.”

–  George Walker Bush (b. 1946), 43rd President of the United States of America, in a speech on September 11, 2021, at the United Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, PA

This is not about politics.  That’s why Bill Clinton was one of the first to tweet about the speech, and why anyone who’s heard it — left, right, radical, moderate — ought to heed its words.

This is about a shared future for all of us that live under the freedom that survived September 11, 2001 – even as we live more divided — and divisive — than we’ve ever been.

This is about hope.  It’s about coming together.  It’s about surprising ourselves and the people who expect us to stoop to a lower level or to engage in an effort to hurt others in order to make ourselves feel better.

It’s not about politics, and I’m not suggesting you follow 43, or Clinton, 41, Obama or Trump.  But there’s a lesson in here that points us to someone who can show us the way.

Supportive, loving, sharing, comforting, and embracing others during unimaginable hurt.  Inclusive, rejecting bias, loving everyone for who they are, regardless of pedigree, skin color, religion. Loving everybody, always.  Not dismissive but encouraging of young people, believing and pouring into the generation they can and will become.

“The truest version of ourselves.”

Who God made us to be.  Who we owe it to Him to become — and to get better at it every day.


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