Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. -- Winston Churchill

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -- Galileo Galilei

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell. -- Harry Truman

Location: Wichita, Kansas

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Take a break

I often despair of the increasing vitriol and hatred one sees in the polarized political climate in our country. When one looks at a snapshot of the world by looking at stories being posted at Reuters, it changes the perspective. Here is a quick list of where political, racial, and religious violence and killing are being reported:

Sri Lanka
Palestinian Territories
Western Sahara

This is just a sample, on another day many other countries would be on the list. That the United States was missing from this list is significant. We have our problems, but other than in rare instances, we do not take to the streets in violent riots or bomb each other to resolve our differences.

We should not take that for granted. Much of the world, unfortunately, cannot say the same. That is all the more remarkable given the great diversity in our country. It might be a good thing to just once in awhile look up from the fray to consider this, and the many other blessings that we in America enjoy.

It's not in our national character to do too much positive reflecting. We want to get back to our debates, the many things we need to improve, and our competing visions for the future. Thats as it should be. But once in awhile its helpful to take stock of what is right about our nation, and appreciate it. It improves my mood and outlook every time I do.

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