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On people

In a neighborhood of some twenty houses lays a street.  And the street bore some twenty years of stepping feet and rolling wheels.

Until its once shiny black skin gave way to a dull grey.  And its once firm bones gave way to loose stones and sand.

The street was weary.  The men and women of the neighborhood took pity.

When night fell, the men and women worked under the moonlight.  Until the first light broke out.

The next day the street woke up to a new shiny black skin.

Right this moment, inside a home in a faraway land, sits a man with his eyes shut.  He daydreams.  He listens to the sugar almond rain over the roof of his home – celebrating sweet love and sweet life.

While inside a home in another faraway land, a man sits with his eyes open in front of the television screen.  He watches the grey pellets rain over the other man’s home – celebrating bitter hatred and bitter death.

The bell rings.  The classroom door swings open.  The children run out to the playground.

Amongst them is the leader.  He leads the children.  The children follow his every move, his every word, his every command.

While at the far end of the playground stands a timid boy, an onlooker, unwelcomed by the leader, unwelcomed by his followers.  He stands alone.

Twenty years onward.  The timid boy creates something amazing for the people.  The people follow his every move, his every word, his every inspiration.

While at the far end of the world stands the once glorious leader, with no one to lead.

In an abundant kitchen, of a fine home, in a magnificent city, of a prosperous country, a mother hides the leftover cake from the children.  They had too much cake.

In a bare kitchen, of a frail home, in a dusty village, of an unfortunate country, a mother stirs the empty pot until the children fall asleep.  They never tasted cake.

Had a mother that loved him.  Had a father that was proud of him.  Had a teacher that cared for him.  Had a friend that played with him.

The little boy that once was.  Had food when hungry.  Had a bed when tired.  Had toys when bored.  Had his mother’s embrace when hurt.   And all was fine.

Until all was lost.  Then all was replaced.

With evil voices whispering in his ears.  Evil thoughts embedding in his soul.  Evil deeds placed in his hands.

And the young man was no longer the little boy that once was.

But what if the young man still had good food, a warm bed, some soul-nourishing entertainment and a loving embrace.

What if he still had his mother’s love, his father’s pride, his teacher’s support, and his friend’s company?

Would he still listen to the evil voices whispering in his ears?  Would he still welcome the evil thoughts into his soul?  Would he still grasp the evil deeds in hands?

Or, would all have remained fine.  For him and for us.

In this world there is the American and there is the Americana Aficionado.

One wears the stars and stripes, the other wishes to wear it.  One speaks the twang, the other excruciatingly attempts it.  One devours the frosted cupcake, the other ogles the falling crumbs.

And one lives the dream, the other secretly dreams it.

She breathes out, we breathe in.  We breathe out, she breathes in.

She breathes out our air, we breathe in her waste.  We breathe out her air, she breathes in our waste.   In natural equilibrium.

But how generous we have been lately!  Tipping the scale ever so much.  Giving her so much more than she asks for.  More than she needs –  to breathe.

And so she ails from our suffocating generosity.

Is it the bordered land and sea?  Is it the structured government and books?  Is it the branded flag and anthem?  Is it the practiced language and religion?  Is it the inherited foods and arts?  Is it the categorized race and color?

Or, is it people coming together.  Despite the different lands and seas they come from.  Despite the different languages they speak.   Despite the different religions they follow.  Despite the different foods they eat.  Despite the different arts they appreciate. Despite the different races they belong to.  Despite the different colors of their skins.

They come together to live with each other, love each other, and learn from each other.

What is your country?