“O mankind! There hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts, — and for those who believe, a guidance and a Mercy.” (Qur’an 10:57)
There are things that unite us as Americans. We all want national security. We all want a healthy economy and a pollution-free society. We all want our human and civil rights honored with justice. All Americans want good homes and a quality education for their children, not to mention a nice bank roll for themselves. But America today is very much divided. We have stark and deep lines of divisions on many public concerns; divisions that are too often emboldened and defended based on skin color, political affiliations, gender and other biases — including religion — that tend to block the road to viable solutions.
Yes, we are the “United States” of America when we look at a physical map, but we are the “Divided States” of America when it comes to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans. We all are guilty of contributing to this nasty national divide. On a more positive note we all can be a positive contribution for the healing of our nation — if and when we make an honest personal assessment of our individual heart, mind and soul — as one seeking to help America become better.
Allah (G_d) put us here in this space and time. All of us are responsible for contributing to the healing of America. President-elect Joe Biden cannot heal America by himself and President Donald Trump is not the sole cause of division in America. We have to not only get past the rhetoric; we have to quit contributing to the rhetoric. We have to tone down our emotions and quit letting the news source we love stir up our emotions. We are here in this space and time to be a healer within a consortium of healers for our national good.
This general election of 2020 and its subsequent fallout have proven to be a serious battleground. As with any war the mental and psychological scars are real and debilitating. No one escapes unscathed from war because both sides need healing. After the battle we have to bury the “dead” issues and the only true “mortician” is open and honest conversations that truly want what is best for America.
“20/20 vision” is a phrase describing normal eye vision, but who would have envisioned that the year 2020 would be so un-normal for America? From George Floyd’s murder that precipitated unprecedented national rioting to COVID-19 disrupting our life with unexpected “new norms,” the year 2020 has highlighted just how much America needs a serious healing.
In order to get back to “normal” we must agree to be disciplined listeners who can listen to the people on the other side with our internal ears as well as our external ears. That means we must turn off our internal voice while we intently listen to the legitimate concerns of those who we may strongly disagree with. We must listen to them without condemning them to eternal hell-fire because we may disagree with them. In turn, the other side would have to listen to your serious concerns. However, these listening-to-learn exchanges can only be effective if both listener and speaker are honestly seeking the common good for all Americans.
The road will not always be smooth as we discuss the difficult issues such as abortion and women’s rights, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ concerns. Always remember that just because someone doesn’t agree with you does not mean they are your enemy. If we respectfully listen to each other, we have hope to find common ground without compromising our morals and convictions.
This will be the beginning of our healing as a nation. As with any medication there are prescribed doses and a healing process that is achieved by allowing the regiment to unfold, but it begins with believing that America is a place for everyone despite the ugly history of injustice and hatred. If we don’t begin listening to one another then we can’t begin the healing, and Satan will continue to speak on our behalf of “both sides.”
Can America be healed post-election 2020? The answer resides in each of us. What are you willing to sacrifice to help our nation heal? What are you and I willing to do to heal the bias diseases in our hearts? Allah (G_d) has placed the answers in each of us on both sides of the divides. Don’t let the rhetoric of Satan interfere with our success as a nation. America remains a beacon of hope for the world.