A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Can we heal this divided nation?

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With the start of a new school year fast approaching, I know that the posts of first-day pictures will be coming soon with comments about how these are tomorrow’s leaders, but given the state of our country today, I have to wonder what we will be handing them to lead.

I don’t remember a time in my short 47 years that I have ever seen our country so completely divided with Americans hunkered down against each other. Sure, we have all had our differences in the past, but we always worked through them. That now seems to have given way to what seems to be pure hatred of those who do not think the same way we do as we gaze out through the digital battlefield and hurl insults and threats that we would never have the cojones to say to someone standing in front of us.

Our children — those leaders of tomorrow — are watching this every day. They are exposed to it every day.

Social media and quite frankly many media outlets themselves do everything in their power to keep the coals stoked and hot for the next great thing to further the divide because hate means anger — and anger gets clicks.

I sometimes wonder if our nation was even this divided in 1861 when set out to war against each other. In all honesty, I think we may be in worse shape now.

What example are we setting for our children by calling each other such insidious names and teaching them that it’s OK to bully, protest, whine and just plain old break the law until they get their way in life? We are steadily destroying our own future every single day — bit by bit, stone by stone — and nobody is showing any signs of relenting and saying “What we are doing is wrong, just plain wrong.”

You can point fingers and blame whomever you want for our complete lack of respect for anything or anyone — or you can go look in the mirror and decide that a better society starts today and it starts with you and me.

As we are a nation of laws that must be followed, I would remind each of us of that most ancient of laws that was handed down centuries ago — love one another.

Mark Cone is owner and operator of SouthernNashNews.com.