Sunday, September 29, 2019

are we a melting pot? or . . . ?

A Metaphor for the U.S.A.

traditionally, we are a melting pot,
where all differences dissolve into a collective whole,
with individuality of group lost,
subsumed into the larger,

maybe, a tossed salad, with each group
keeping its differences but together making a unity,
though mouth and stomach make it into a melting pot,

maybe a stew, with each group retaining some uniqueness,
but at the edges slipping into the whole,

maybe a choral group, where the individual voice shines
within a larger shining of the wholeness of the piece,

in our private school, we trumpet the value of diversity and inclusivity,
still we require that members of the community
accept our unifying philosophy which chooses some truths as not relative:
love over hate, 
peaceful problem-solving, not violence,
empowerment over disenfranchisement
the rights of non-traditional genders
over the rigid denying of a fundamentalist belief system,

how much are we as a country a confederacy
of separate but equal subdivisions,
with no common purpose, no common set of values,
a hundred flowers blooming?

it seems that now we are stuck
in a schizoid country with two different realities,
between which we have to choose,
as if we are not really part of the same whole,

we need to find common ground, and build upon it,
whatever the metaphor that best describes who we want to be.

by Henry H. Walker
September 29, ‘19

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