Love thy neighbor

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We, all of us, have a chance to make history, change the world, and make it a better place for our children.
We can all do one task that requires little physical effort.
The task? Love thy neighbor.
No matter their color, their religion, their nationality their gender…just love thy neighbor.
On the surface it seems easy but many of us have been told for years that certain groups are dangerous or evil.  
You’ve heard the words, maybe even used them yourself: thugs, gang bangers, hillbillies, illegals, queers, extremists, terrorists and worse…the words and attitudes have become a part of our culture, passed on from mothers and fathers to sons and daughters.
We have to break that cycle.
The recent protests strike at the very core of our existence as a nation.  

We can’t hold these truths as self evident, that all men are created equal if we don’t treat all people as equals.
The sad, and puzzling, thing is this has been going on for hundreds of years. We fought a war over it but still it exists.
Dr. Martin Luther King worked toward establishing a more just nation and progress was made. But not enough.
You may belittle Colin Kaepernick for his taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of minorities. When one group of our citizens feels threatened by authority, we should all feel threatened.
I know that 99 percent of officers are well trained, professional, level headed individuals but 99 percent is not enough.
Instead of mocking Kaepernick and deriding him, we should have listened to what he was saying, examined how minorities are treated. Then we should have changed our minds and hearts.
When these demonstrations are over, the rebuilding will begin.
It is not just the burned out stores and businesses that need to be rebuilt. It’s how our society responds to poverty, joblessness, police brutality issues, the judicial system and a host of other issues.
I am hurting for our country but I am hopeful, hopeful that out of this we can build bridges to lead us all to the promised land of peace, security and prosperity.
If you want a better world for your children and your grandchildren, it’s time to put away hatred.
Love your neighbor…no matter their color, their nationality, their religion, their gender…just love them.
Help create a better America for all.

Terry Dickow can be contacted at terrydickow@gmail.com.