We Are Broken

“Only when the broken are healed, no matter what they have done, will we as a people heal.”
Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo used the example of Ghandi during a hunger strike, when asked by one of the warring leaders to stop his hunger strike. Ghandi replied that he would stop the strike after the man embraced the person who had killed his daughter. Forgiveness is healing.

It seems our great country is in need of healing right now. Not only do we continue on with one war, but we look at other countries like Libya and Syria with suspicious eyes. But ending wars is only part of the greater healing we need. Within our own borders, we are broken as a nation. Our government can’t seem to work together to get things done, and so we struggle with high unemployment, strained social services, and low expectations for improvement. We worry that we are one illness away from losing all that we have saved for in our lives.

We are broken.

But how do we heal ourselves, as a nation? We heal our broken members of society. To improve the economy, we need more jobs, and so we provide incentives to the capitalists for more hiring. We make sure there is adequate social services to provide for those who are needing it right now, during these difficult times. And we make sure health care is affordable to all and that no one goes broke from being uninsured or underinsured.

And yet these are the very issues that our country is in dispute about. How much government support do we want to have? Does that make us a socialist country, if we rely on the government to help us during these difficult days? We throw terms like “socialist,” “communist,” “liberal,” and “capitalist” around like they are dirty words.

We are broken.

Ghandi would tell us to embrace our enemy in forgiveness in order to heal. Who is this enemy that we need to embrace? For each of us, the answer is different. But perhaps the time has come.

Today we might make a list of those who we need to forgive in our personal world, and go about the task of forgiveness.

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