Posted by | June 22, 2011 15:12 | Filed under: Contributors Gabe Berman Opinion Top Stories

by Gabe Berman
Gabe is the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Along with the garden variety chips and soda, Confederate flag do-rags were also for sale at a gas station I stopped at while driving through South Carolina.

“Our differences are what make America great.” This political catchphrase popped into my head as I stood there, temporarily stunned by what seemed normal to other patrons. I’ve forced myself to believe these words because, on the surface, they make sense. I forced myself to believe these words because I wanted to. It’s how I justify the bickering across the aisle because, in theory, it leads to a greater good.

But unfortunately, deep down, I know it’s a lie. These words are window dressings used to appease people. In reality, our differences keep the downtrodden trodden upon. What makes America great are the people who risk everything for others. Soldiers, gay rights activists, environmentalists, civil rights leaders, etc etc.

To truly become a great nation, we need to stop embracing our differences and start seeing others, without exception, as ourselves.

Jesus didn’t say, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” because it was the nice thing to do. He said it because your neighbor is you.

We need to stop crucifying the poor because they are poor. It’s beautiful if the rich get richer, but not at the expense of others.

United we stand and divided we fall. This isn’t a prediction. We’re falling. But a greater good is still within reach. We just have to choose it before it’s too late.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Gabe Berman

Gabe Berman is a native New Yorker who settled in South Florida after graduating from the University of Miami. An epiphany, a passion, and a trail of breadcrumbs led him out of Corporate America and into the career he was meant for. After eight years of writing columns for the Miami Herald, his book - Live Like A Fruit Fly - was published by HCI Books and subsequently endorsed by Deepak Chopra. His second book, The Complete B.S. Free and Totally Tested Writing Guide, helps artists find their voice and his latest work, Where Is God When Our Loved Ones Get Sick?, uncovers the answer to this haunting question.