The Cultural Blending of America
</p><p>This election has brought out the worst in all of us. Our fears, our hatred, even the simplest gestures, of common decency on Facebook, have shriveled away. We have witnessed as part of the 2016 Election, the very devolution of America. We have taken the role of the “American,” and parsed into several little pieces: Women, Latinos, White Men, Muslims, etc. What was the once civilized exchange of ideas has morphed into an ugly separation of sub-cultures wherein the very idea of America is lost.</p><p>
</p><p>The very premise of America started when our forefathers sought to make a better life for themselves in a new place with none of the cultural and religious edicts from England were forced upon them. Their very desire was freedom. That was the most basic. Freedom to be who they chose to be. Fast forward 240 years, and instead look at what we are offered and shown. Control. Our election today is all about who can control who we love, what we pray, and how we can handle our own bodies. </p><p>
</p><p></p><p>How did we get here? Even that does not matter. We are here now. How do we fix it? How do we take the current America that we are all living in, in 2016, and not just the freedom that our forefathers demanded, but also take the greatest benefit from the cultural cauldron that we now live in? Surely, a group of people, all with different religions, all different cultural viewpoints, varied upbringings, diverse ethnic traditions, can drive to an immense shared glory. It has been proven that progress happens when people who think differently are forced to work on the same problem. Their perspectives make all the difference.</p><p>
</p><p>How do we harness that diversity? And I don’t just mean hiring a certain type of person for a job. What I mean is actually understanding a different culture. How can we, living in America, make the greatest step towards harnessing that diversity…by actually living it! </p><p>I will give you my own example. If you heard me on the phone, you would think I was “American,” just from my accent. However, like everyone out there, I am a certain “color,” of skin. I won’t tell you if I’m white, blue, or green…. but I am a certain color by which immediately upon looking at me, there will be certain prejudices. Not good or bad.</p><p>
</p><p></p><p>But just think of it as a veil that covers your eyes, and you will always see that color veil first whenever you speak to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure it will cloud all of our initial interactions, whether you do it subconsciously or not. And if at first, you don’t notice this veil right away, you may only notice it when you hear me talking about the holidays I celebrate or the place of worship that I attend, and again, the veil will preside.</p><p>
</p><p>But how often do I get asked if someone can learn about my culture? Almost never. And that’s where I see the real opportunity. That’s where I see where the cauldron that we live in is more like oil and water, than it is a blended shake. Living in Houston, where access to so many cultures is extremely easy, when was the last time that&nbsp;I attended another cultures’ function or place of worship just out of curiosity, just for sake of learning, just to be aware?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Not for some time.</p><p>
</p><p>And now, I can thank this election for opening my eyes to it. Where so many people are dropped in baskets of “x, y, or z,” I realized that the way to make America stronger is not by abolishing those individual cultures, but rather making them broader, more ubiquitous, more welcoming for all.</p><p>
</p><p>We can thank retail for driving our holiday spirit in such an immense way that everyone, regardless of their heritage, knows about Christmas. They know about the trees, and presents, and decorating your house. It is a holiday that has become ubiquitous, and widely accepted. Is it fathomable to do the same for such holidays as Hanukkah or Diwali, or Ramadan? Wouldn’t it be more fun if we could, as Americans, broaden our understanding of these holidays? </p><p>
</p><p></p><p>The responsibility lies not only in each of us, but in our community to support such an outreach. It is up to the community to want to create such an integrated culture, and drive to maximize the knowledge so that it’s just as acceptable to see a Muslim at a Church, as it is to see a Christian at a Diwali celebration, or a Hindu at a Synagogue. That is cultural blending. It takes America to a place of not being a cauldron of oil and water, but rather a beautifully blended mélange of adopted cultures, all of them as our own. All that carry one single ideal: the respect of the American flag, and the freedom that it stands for.</p><p>It may be a stretch, but so was the very concept of America when it was first born.</p>
If the world spoke only in rhymes, ah what a glorious time!
Everyone would think before they would speak,
No idiots allowed, all fools rendered meek.
This would be a place where only brilliance shined,
And the rest would be fodder to die in the vines.
Our hearts would be true to the magic of rhyme,
And our souls forever intertwined in wine!
Its elegance, its drama, its emotion laid bare,
For all to taste, for all for but to stare!
Words are like liquids that pass between our lips.
Its subtle taste slowly opens, and then drips,
We recognize the very best and welcome them more,
To bring what they can, to give all they have in store.
Rhyme lends to creativity, to verses anew,More than anyone else could ever hope to do!
The Carriage in the Room
That was where it all began. Walking through the broken slats of the porch, she was careful not to fall despite her low heels. Slowly the darkness adjusts to her eyes, and at first, she sees nothing more than a veil of dust, covering each and every part of the room. Thin strands of sunlight highlight the larger pieces of dust as they fly up and dance in the air around her as she moves. The long, narrow hallway creates a path to a grand room at the end of it. But in all its grandeur, the room stands lifeless. A cavernous emptiness both in feeling and form, with looters having already had their way.
But, in the corner, it remains. Its' white lace is torn and dirty. Its' delicate flowy fabric holds in tatters, and yet it stands defiantly, like it knew it had served its purpose well. She dares not to approach it so soon, and instead creeps around the rest of the room. Her soft footsteps echo in the silence. Faded photographs of her parents decorate the walks, but that's where the memories stop. She has no other recollection of them at all. Not one thought.
The rest was just a story that folks had told her. Like a nightmare someone else could claim but not her. That she had been just a baby asleep in an ornate carriage that night. That she had been loved by her parents. And then the Great Flood came and they had to escape. And leave their beautiful home, and that night all of their dreams and memories ceased to exist. Only she survived, as the orphanage had told her. By some miracle they said, as if she should appreciate their loss of life for her gain. And there was no other family. There was no one else at all. Just her, all alone.
Until now. She gently touches her stomach, knowing that she had come to share this last memory with her unborn child, and then it would all be forgotten. That her son would not be so alone, but that he would be heir to a legacy. She releases the broken carriage from her mind and her heart. Dusting off her past, she marches out of the abandoned house, leaving to find the family that would make them both whole.
Every one has it.
Seldom use it after age 5.
It's shows the past, and the promise of a future to come.
It's full of all the answers, its' fears none.
Welcome it, I say,
invite Imagination everyday.
See your dreams unfold,
just as you once told.
In your mind you can see,
The greatest future that can be.
Just imagine a dream so true.
Let it bring everything to you!
My Ode to Myself
Rose are red, violets are blue.
How can I compare anyone to you?
You're enchanting and mesmerizing,
Heck, you're the very glue!
My greatest dreams, you make them all real,
And for this, I pay homage, and do kneel,
You know the path, and this I adore,Once and for always, my greatest amour!