We Are All Americans
Louise Vallone is a community activist, author, and grassroots organizer who has worked diligently to protect the environment and educate voters on issues – including those involving health and wellness. She has received various awards and recognitions in this field.
by Louise Vallone
There is a saying I don’t hear much anymore that was common in my day and when I was raising my children. The saying was “play nice”. We, as parents, knew the importance of this phrase for it meant to get along with others around you no matter what the differences so there can be a cohesive, friendly environment that is built to develop lasting bonds. Parents taught children that we are all different and that this difference should be embraced and not put into a dispiriting spotlight. Parents taught children that there is always common ground from which to lay a foundation if you keep the lines of communication open rather than focusing on your own needs – for this world is bigger than just you if you take the time to look around.
I cannot say with certainty why this saying has gone by the wayside but if I were to guess I would have to say it was because as easy of a concept to grasp the meaning, it seems to be a difficult concept to put into practice.
Adults are the role models that will shape our future generations. And yet in many aspects more and more adults are acting in childish self-serving ways that are having a destructive trickle-down effect. As an example, we have seen where select politicians and those in government no longer focus on issues but rather on destroying the character of an opponent or any person with an opposing view. The goal appears to be to champion the needs of their Party over the needs of their constituents. Decorum in debates has turned nasty with name calling and half-truths slanted intentionally to demoralize and demonize anyone in the way of their success. This is not healthy for politics, not healthy for government, not healthy for America and not healthy for our future generations to observe in practice.
We wonder why there are acts of disrespect and anger in our country by some of our younger generation and yet none of us of look at ourselves and realize it is us teaching them to behave this way. If all they see is the negative actions of those for whom we are to look up to, those who historically have always been role models, then how can we expect them to know basic civility. And I say this not as a blanket statement to all politicians or those in government nor do I say this with any disrespect. Rather I say this from observations over the years from watching the different ways in which those in office from President Herbert Hoover to Joe Biden have interacted with others. At times I feel like they have forgotten to mind their manners or the golden rule of “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” Why bring up the negative of what your opponent has done when it is just as easy to bring up the positive you will do.
And so now I say is the time to show we can bond together despite our Parties. Now is the time to play nice with one another to not promote our Party but to support America and lay a strong moral and ethical foundation for our youth. As thankful as we are for those in office to be our voices in government we know they can do better. We all can.