The golden rule is not so golden anymore. Instead, it has been modified into “Do unto others as you please.” A simple regard for other people has been thrown to the wayside, and we are left in a divided country.
The history of America tells an interesting story. Our past leaders battled through many adversities in order to create one great nation. They printed the words “E Pluribus Unum” on our money to remind us that out of many came one. In our pledge are written the words “One nation, under God.” And “America the Beautiful” emphasizes the importance of “brotherhood.”
These events in history have long passed even though their importance remains. However, we have forgotten our roots and the goal to be one, and have separated ourselves. The major contribution to this downfall is our inability to treat others with respect. It is a simple rule you learn in kindergarten. Regrettably, it is soon forgotten and we are left in an unfriendly society.
Unfortunately, it appears that only an extreme event has the ability to snap us out of this slump. In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 the nation set aside differences and banded together as one. Thousands of emergency personnel hurried to New York in order to provide their much-needed services. New York and East Coast citizens came out of their homes in an effort to help. Even those of us who felt helpless on the other side of the country sent money, food and prayers to assist those in need.
Now, every year in September, there is a surge of togetherness. People forget that they have spent the past year treating others with disrespect and try their best to get along. Patriotism reaches an all-time high and a genuine smile replaces the grimaces on faces. But as this tragic reflection passes, so does our kindness and outreach.
The importance of our togetherness at this time is tremendous. However, it is just as important that we stick together throughout the rest of the year. Make an effort to help those in need. Call an old friend. Smile at a stranger. Write your mother. These simple actions may not seem all that crucial, but they can mean the world to someone. I think it is time we reverse this nation from many divisions into a whole again.
Remember what your kindergarten teacher taught you, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” For those of you who took the time to read this article, keep these things in mind. Not just for today, or for other anniversaries of this tragedy to come, but for always.
Stacey is a senior majoring in marketing. Her column runs on Thursdays.