The Exclusive States of America

Some thoughts about the state of America and how if we shift how we think collectively, we may fix it.

I admit it.  I have blinders on and see life through a limited field of vision.  I view the world through the lens of the theater, teaching and running, and I apply what I’ve learned through these visions of the world to the parts I do not belong to.  It may be why my voice doesn’t resonate with many.

The theater, teaching and running at the roots have much in common even though they seem very different.  At the core of each is inclusiveness.  A general knowledge and acceptance that not all participants are the same but all deserve to participate.

Theater, for anyone who has not been part of it, is made up of three primary groups: actors, technicians and box office.  Each group believes they are the most important but in the back of their minds, know that they are all equally important.  

Having Shakespeare as their guru probably helps with this thinking.  “All the world’s a stage and all men and women merely players.”  So there’s a sense that everyone is needed for the theater to succeed.  It’s a safe place for all, despite people’s differences.  

Anyone who has worked in the theater knows that at times each group is at each other’s throats.  At other times some within the same group are infighting, but when the curtain rises, the show must go on and become the singular focus for all.

Teaching is the same especially in K-12.  A teacher is the outsider and leader of the classroom community which is made up of a group of peers with little in common.  Students don’t arrive at K-12 because they are passionate about the same things like in college.  No, they arrive because they are forced to.

The teacher then is responsible for creating an inclusive environment in which the athlete, the jock, the prom queen, the nerd, the troublemaker and the artist can all thrive in the same community.  Any teacher worth their weight in salt will agree.  A classroom is an inclusive environment designed by the teacher to create an environment in which all participants succeed despite their differences.  It’s a monumental challenge that teachers accept daily.

Running is the same.  Few people are world class runners, yet millions of people from all walks of life participate in running events yearly worldwide.  It’s an inclusive activity that takes just the desire to move forward at a faster pace in most cases than a walk.

The Boston Marathon is the race of the elites.  It doesn’t change the fact that there are also participants in wheelchairs and those running for a cause that will never be at the speed of the winner.  It doesn’t make them any less of a runner.  Running again is an inclusive activity.

Which brings me to the ‘why oh why’.  I am not an American.  I am not from Canada, Mexico, Panama or Brazil.  I was born in California in the USA.  The USA is not like the theater, teaching or running.  It used to be, but it is not any longer.

The USA is actually the U.S.A.  It stands for the United States of America.  They should rename it either the State of America or the Exclusive States of America.  

The Right and the Centrists are exclusive clubs that do not like the Left.  The Left is inclusive.  They just want members who can tolerate and work well with each other to build a better future for OUR nation.  The Right and Centrists think in terms of how they want to rebuild their nation.  Neither the Right or Centrist have an include all mentality.  They are made up of the bullies, the academics and the elite athletes that only accept their kind.  That is a problem.

If we can’t figure out how to Unite, tolerate, accept and live together, Our nation will be at war with itself with no running race, classroom or opening night on the horizon.  Anyone who thinks differently may want to look at what blinders are building their view of the USA. 

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