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Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

There is one person who got an extra fifteen minutes of fame for saying this and then got just as publicly coal raked as a hypocrite and a drug addict. The truth is that most of us hypocrites, drug addicts, alcoholics, churchgoing citizens, upstanding moral guardians, cigarette smokers, couch potatoes and even those of us who mind our own business have asked this question at one time or another. The usual answer that we give ourselves is along the lines of a shoulder shrug accompanied by some form of "that's the way it is" cop out.
It's not that we can't get along with each other, it's that we just don't. It is a decision made by each individual and it is also a matter of degree. We do get along to a certain point. If we did not, society would already be forgotten history. The question in the title really refers to the intentions and attitude that our "getting along " is based on.
This question raises other questions. Is our present form of getting along based on good will or reluctantly acknowledging that we need each other to prosper or at least, survive? Are we "nice" to each other just to keep each other on reserve to be used to advantage later or are we nice because we really want things to work out well? Do we follow the rules because we are afraid of punishment or do we follow the rules because we understand that they should be designed to make life better for everyone? Do we choose leaders based on their integrity and attitude or based on what we get out of them? Is it really a dog eat dog world or is that just what we accept?

Why do we let things go on this way?

The answers are very common and in all of us. Basic insecurity, a lack of faith in our own effectiveness is the most general form of an answer. This insecurity takes many forms ranging from a vague general fear of life, to taking refuge in selfishness, to power lust or the attempt to control others in order to protect ourselves, to defensive hostility or "life is a war” as a way of life, to the "get what you can because everyone else is" religion and many other not so healthy attitudes. The bottom line is that we don't trust ourselves enough to trust any one else or even allow ourselves to try to be trustworthy and that we often try to hide from this fact.
It looks bleak don't it. But reread the question one more time. Think about it. Just the fact of its existence shows that there is faith in its possibilities. It would take a lot of work and sacrifice to make it real, but the desire and the idea exist. Most people would even agree that it would be nice, but...
There are, of course, people who decide to get along based on good will. They are an important part of the glue that holds society together. They do things based on their honest intention that life be good for everyone. They are not as rare as this little essay might make it sound, but they are not that common either. Many people who think of themselves as members of this group are lying to themselves and many of the people who ARE members of this group do not realize how important they are, There are some well known members of this group, but the ones who live without recognition are the ones who have an effect that society could not exist without.
The example of these people tempers the attitudes and actions of the worst offenders in the group that surrenders to insecurity. They make it easier for people to choose good will, whether it be through admiration or shame. We need these people.
We CAN get along with each other. The price is enduring those who refuse and getting along anyway. It ain't easy, and it never will be, but after a while, the benefits will become obvious. Choose.

By Al Uvus