At the time of its creation, the United States of America was such a radical idea— individual states united together as a nation under a government run by the people.

A new nation. A new form of government. An experiment. And it worked.

The US began to prosper, drawing people from every corner of the globe to the land of opportunity. Folks of every race, religion and creed traveled thousands of miles to land on our shores in hopes of playing a part in the story of the United States. It’s been over 240 years since the colonies declared independence from Great Britain. We’ve made some terrible mistakes along the way, but we grew together because of them— and boy did we grow.

From 13 colonies on the east coast to 50 states reaching as far west as the middle of the Pacific, we became the melting pot of the world as different cultures and traditions became intertwined in American life. We were all different, but all a part of same unbelievable story. It was beautiful. Was.

Things aren’t as tranquil as they used to be. Sure, we didn’t love each other or even really like each other all that much then, but we respected one another and that’s what made us unique. We all come from different backgrounds. We have different values, different viewpoints, and have had different experiences that have shaped us into the people we are today. We can’t pretend to understand how or why someone thinks a certain way. That’s naïve and vain.

But it’s also naïve to think that things would be much better if we all had the exact same values and the exact same views. That would be a disservice to the world. If we were uniform, carbon copies of one another, there wouldn’t be anyone to challenge your beliefs you hold so dear.

You wouldn’t be lying awake at night asking yourself why you have certain values. Your viewpoint would be like a sandcastle— even though it’s standing and you know it’s there, it can get destroyed by even the smallest tide.

If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

So this is the world we have to live in?

Left and right. Progressive and conservative. Democrat and Republican.

Divided? Yes. Divisive? It doesn’t have to be.

We’re not going to always get along. The United States is far too big for that happen. So I’m sorry, but there won’t be any handholding and singing Kum Ba Yah around the campfire anytime soon. And that’s how it should be.

“USA” does not stand for the Uniformed States of America. Do you honestly think the delegates of the second Continental Congress waltzed into Independence Hall and were yes-men? Of course not! There were loud, heated debates.

Each colony had its own needs and wants, and the others were forced to make sacrifices and reach consensus. They had to do so because the delegates agreed that they would only declare independence from Great Britain if the vote was unanimous. They needed each other.

We still need each other. The world is full of unspeakable evil and the only way we’ll overcome it is if we remain united. Stop trying to force everyone to play by your rules. And if someone tells you to play by theirs, stick to your guns, but don’t think less of them.

Debate and discuss; don’t detest. See each other as individuals, not as ideas. There’s a person behind each opinion whether you agree with them or not.

Lastly, be your own person. Chart your own path. Don’t be afraid to fail, but grow from failure. Formulate your own political beliefs and learn how to defend them and, above all else, treat everyone, especially those with who you disagree, with genuine respect.

Because, after all, we’re in this together.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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