Let’s be honest. We’re ashamed of much of our history. We’re ashamed of many of the heroes we have celebrated. We want to erase so much of the past. We want to believe in ourselves and our country. We want to feel great.
There is a way. We can look at the many good things that we and our country stand for. We stand for freedom, for democracy, for opportunity, for progress, for diversity, for security, for generosity, for togetherness, and much more.
So impressive and important, of course; but there’s more, like admitting the mistakes, like repenting, like reflecting on the present. Have we learned from the past or are we repeating it? Have we made things better or have we lost sight of the things that really make a people and a country great? Will future generations look back and want to erase today’s history?
Maybe it’s time to be honest. Maybe we could start with a truth and reconciliation commission, with efforts to reform and replace outdated policies, with disarmament, with enlightened thinking that subscribes to a bright future for all peoples, with a new mind-set that puts people before profit and peace before the delusion of power.
Honesty requires we commit ourselves and our country to the changes needed to not just make a better world, but to save the world.