Politics in the last year have been a real downer, for sure. It has felt like there has been a renewed desire to hate and discriminate against groups of people, on the usual basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender and sexuality. I was so sure that we were slowly moving beyond that.
Being a dad definitely causes me to be more engaged in the desire to be outspoken against this irrational hate, because I don't want my kid growing up into a world that makes it OK. What surprises me is that, already, at the tender age of 7, I can see that Simon's America is not reflective of the one that I see on TV and social media. It looks more like the one that I've lived in, especially in my profession, which I perceive to be far more diverse than average.
When I look back at the parent group we were a part of during his first two years, I see parents from many professions, either from or one generation removed from immigrants from all over the world. Now that we live in Florida, we go to birthday parties and see that many of his friends speak Spanish. His friends have included Jews, Hindus and Muslims. The parents come from everywhere from Macedonia to Brazil to India to New Jersey. The families range from single parent by choice to same-sex couples.
Simon's America is how America looks, and that diversity can't be stopped. Even though we're experiencing a bump in the road, and we are obligated to be vocally opposed to the hating, this is our future. It's real life today for my kid, and I see it in my personal and professional life. This America isn't something to be scared of, and I would argue that it's something to be celebrated. Our future is only going to get more challenging as we rely more on machines to do things, and divisiveness toward people not like you won't change that. Baseless fear of other nations with which we necessarily participate in a global economy won't help either. We have to break the cycle of fear and start working together again to create things.
Simon's America is pretty great. Hopefully you'll want to come along for the ride.