Everyone Has a Voice
The famous poem by Dorothy Law Nolte once said,“children learn what they live,” and that includes compassion. Compassion is defined as having consideration for or showing kindness to others. Having the capacity to feel and show compassion is so important that the Search Institute, a nonprofit organization that conducts research to advance the well-being of children, considers it a cornerstone for developing a sense of purpose in life. Our national sense of purpose appears to be at odds today. Strangeness is fascinating. Main stream America has spent millions for movies with themes of medieval magical maps embellished with fantastical beasts, superheroes fighting off other worldly creatures bent on eliminating the human race for our propensity for destroying our environment. All attest to the human fascination with things that violate our basic ideas about reality. The study of morality and culture is therefore an intrinsically fascinating topic. People have created moralities as divergent as those of Nazis and Quakers. Yet when we examine the daily lives of Americans with divergent views we find common themes of disagreement; reciprocity, loyalty, respect for authority, and limits on physical harm.
On Friday October 11, 2019, San Antonio announced two initiatives that should encourage the rest of America about the future of our country. The first announcement was the introduction of the “Day of the Girl San Antonio!” The Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas is leading an all-girl, nonprofit collaborative to rally the community under the same goal and take action to advance opportunities for girls everywhere. The second announcement introduced The Day of the Dead as a citywide celebration with a full slate of events never experienced in San Antonio. The event will focus on Día de los Muertos tradition to mark the holiday.
Why are these announcements so important and why should anyone care? These announcements are proof that a moral fiber still exists in America. We have been exposed to cultural toxicity that has divided Americans by identity. Race, gender, orientation, nationality political ideology is just the beginning of the various means by which those in power use to tear apart our morale fiber. Each of the announcements build upon the ideology upon which this country was founded. Everyone deserves the right to pursue happiness by their own definition. This includes girls rising to capture their piece of the American dream. In the case of the Day of the Dead, it is a celebration that is ridiculed by European religions even though every religion has their way of celebrating our ancestors. Moral diversity results from differences in moral education and enculturation. As we suggested above, one of the main sources of moral diversity originates in political diversity. So how can we all get along in a morally diverse society? The first step is simply to recognize that all sides in the debate are morally motivated. We tend to assume the worst about our opponents, to regard them as perfectly villainous. We should treat those different from us with respect and dignity! Remember, children are watching!
WATCH Dr. Doug speak with Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark on these topics below::