A strong nation starts with family, then friends, then communities and cities, then regions, then a strong country built on the solid support of ties that bind, not ones that break us down into petty groups with all our differences. Let’s talk about how to build a strong nation.
Build Relationships First
Do you have at least one or two inner-circle trusted friends you talk to, meet with, or see regularly? Is this person(s) a trusted confidante? If so, how did you build that friendship? You built it over time, right? Friendships take time—time that is a commodity in short supply these days.
Just 20 years ago, “inner -circle,” “acquaintances,” and “outer circle” were the way friendships were described.
Today, one can arrange an entire video series with a producer and never see them or talk by phone. That used to be called “a dead end.” I have arranged lunch dates with two women of the World War II generation a month in advance with no phone calls. We all show up as planned, having made no confirmation via email, text, or phone call the week before. That used to be unheard of in the life of friends. My husband and I planned a trip with our teenage grandson, all via text and email. Our “face-to-face” time together was the longest in a year and the most hours we spent with him since he was born. People used to call that “taking a risk,” spending so much time together with a teen after such a long gap.
Get To Know Your Friends and Neighbors Better
I know of people who call people they have never met or spoken to as “friends.” Americans used to call that person an “acquaintance.”
I know of business people who have no real friends outside of business dealings but refer to anyone outside of the office they speak to once a year as their “friend.”
I know of neighborhoods where no one speaks to the neighbors because they are never home and when they are, it’s dark outside, or the hour is too late.
This is a citizenship issue for Americans. Who you gonna call in an emergency? It sure isn’t Ghostbusters. What if you don’t need help in the event of a natural disaster, but the people around you need your help? Would you let them use your electricity to power their electric saw to cut the fallen tree limbs? Would you lend them your electric saw? Do you know them more than simply seeing them leaving their driveway daily?
What if you haven’t heard the person in the next apartment open or shut their door in a few days? Do you know them at least well enough to observe their patterns and call the landlord if you think something may have happened?
The Ties That Bind
Building a strong nation starts with family, then friends, then communities and cities, then regions. A strong nation is built on the solid support of ties that bind. Families staying in touch. Friends helping friends. Neighbors helping neighbors. How can we cultivate friendships and ties that bind in a culture of division? I believe that our nation will be better for even our slightest effort. https://civicsandcitizenship.org/2017-6-8-leaving-childish-things-behind/
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
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