If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain
I noticed that the soul of which he speaks is a patchwork of all of those who occupy America and as such is a messy idea to explain and make sense of. Our collective soul is a fabric woven from our unique souls. However, what exactly does this mean?
Every one of us has a stake in the meaning and makeup of our country. I would dare say the majority of us agree that we would like to have the fundamentals to construct a satisfying life for ourselves. We would also like to have adequate housing, enough food to eat, very good health and the chance for our kids to make their own way in the world.
Some people are born with a head start. Support from our parents and family, family financial resources and a neighborhood where we can feel safe give us confidence that we can set and meet goals for our lives. They might have arrived as refugees from oppressive countries by the skin of their teeth. They might not understand or speak English. They may have valuable skills but not appropriate credentials by which their abilities can be recognized or recorded.
Some of us had a relatively peaceful upbringing and entered adulthood confident of our ability to make our own way in the world. Others of us have been marginalized and made to feel inferior as compared with our fellow citizens. We do not all emerge from our childhood and adolescence with the same perspective on the world, our country or ourselves. All the things that I have said go into the makeup of our individual souls.
In my opinion, your soul consists of one’s past experiences and how they’ve influenced your sense of who you are, your sense of self-worth and outlook on the prospects for a fulfilling life. Besides ideas about yourself you also carry feelings which result from these experiences. You might emerge out of your upbringing as happy, optimistic and self confident. With different experiences, you could emerge as miserable, pessimistic and unsure of yourself.
The soul of America is a combination of all of our individual souls. With our different backgrounds and experiences, it can be very difficult for us to understand and support each other. That’s the challenge we face. It may be difficult but that does not make it impossible. Just try to bear in mind that not everyone has had the same experiences you’ve got and might view their life very differently from the way you view yours.
• Take time to understand what lies within your spirit.
• What do you like about what you find and what would you change?
• When meeting strangers, try and understand what lies within their souls.
• Try to understand your differences.