E Pluribus Unum

During the early years of the United State of America the words E Pluribus Unum was decided upon to appear on the Seal of the United States. These words translate to From many, one or Out of many, one. They stood as the unofficial motto until the mid 1950’s when the official motto “In God We Trust” was written into law. When looking throughout major moments of the history of the United States, it is interesting that most of the ones pointed to are built around this concept of unity. Most of the time is represented by war and the gathering of troops and support from all over the country. It is also seen during times of tragedy or Olympic pride or even Presidential elections. Yet for all the togetherness the history has also been filled with times that pull the country apart.

It is easy to look through life in the scope of an Us vs Them mentality. If only Republicans would do x,y,z or if only Democrats would do a,b,c. Why are ____ so ___? The words with which we tend to talk places labels on us meant to help us separate, instead of include more. When you really start to look at things though there are actually a lot of things that most people have in common. For the most part, we are all trying to find love, joy, peace, success, and on and on. We want jobs and safety and families and places to live. As the world grows around us and technology and news make things readily available to us in a moments notice it is easy to become desensitized or overly traumatic or exaggerated with out thinking. The moment we stop being a part of one body and fragment into many, is the moment we essential stop realizing the true foundation of what it means to be the United States of America.

This doesn’t mean that I believe that everyone should agree on every single topic. In fact that would be its own major issues. What I do believe though is that sometime along the way, people have lost sight of the fact that this country was founded as a collection of individuals from very different walks of life. That collection throughout time has shaped and will continue to shape the world with which we live. Instead of focusing on the problems that sometimes arise, this is a great time considering most are thinking about the founding of the nation, to work on building unity. Maybe it is as simple as looking for ways to volunteer within one’s community to show that you are there for your neighbors. Or maybe it’s working to be more inclusive with your actions or language and try to stand up when people are being discriminated or victimized unfairly. For me one of the things I’ve been working on lately is to try and work on my empathy. To understand truly those who exist within my life. I’m not perfect, my community isn’t perfect, but at this moment in time in this location, we share a common existence. Life seems to be a group activity, why live it as a life apart?

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