And Together We Stand
How’s it going
Whether you have supported me from day one by reading Out of Many, One, more recently by starting a paid subscription, or just today by joining us here for the first time…thank you so much. 😁 Your support has made this a fun month of learning together. Some of you have sown hope by sharing posts with friends or just talking about the good things we’ve highlighted here. Others have encouraged me when I have been struggling in this initial launch phase. All of you have helped us grow this community and helped spread hope to those in our circles who need it. Thank you for all you are doing.
A few of you have also decided to support this work of building a community of hope by becoming paid subscribers. While I will be sending out a specific post for paid subscribers later this week or next, I wanted to share some of the things this support has helped fund for our community. First, you have helped me get a Sowing Hope specific email address for you all to share your feedback, encouragement, and possible topic ideas 🎉. Now, anytime you have something you think will make our community stronger, please send me your thoughts and ideas to Seeds@SowingHope.How 🌱. Getting this Sowing Hope email address also opens up the possibility in the future for us to have a Sowing Hope website. Not exactly sure what that will look like, but I will share more of my thoughts in the paid subscriber update. If that is the type of thing you are interested in hearing about, you can become a paid subscriber below. As always, though, there is no pressure. Just you being here means so much to me. 😁
One of my recent posts talked about what progress we’ve been making with infrastructure by building and repairing the investments we have made as a nation. I happened on some photos that blew me away. Here is one that shows the investments being made across the U.S.
As you can see, these investments are spread across the nation. What are the little grey dots? I’m glad you asked because that brings up the second part of this map that blew me away and made me really excited: what you see above are all the private investments spurred on by the investments we are making in our nation. Why are so many companies investing in American infrastructure? My guess is (and it is a guess at this point) it’s the same reason more people drive after a city expands the freeway: people see where we are headed. The grey dots are the public investments. Take a look at this map of the state and local governments that have been using the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments among other public investments.
I would encourage you if you have time to dig into this, it’s really exciting 😁. From the resurfacing and safety project down the street from me on SR-76 to the 6K Energy in Jackson, TN, both supporting jobs in our area, it is awesome to see growth and progress benefit Americans across the U.S. regardless of zip code. 🌱
Also, I am still working on the post you asked for about the reasons for the great economic numbers (link to What We Make post), the stint of high inflation, and what has brought inflation way back down. I’m expecting that to be out in the next few weeks.
Out of many, we are one
As I talk about some in my first post and more in my Addition > Division post, we are a nation united by common values of freedom and trust. We are not a divided nation motivated by hate and fear as some would tell us. How do I know that? I listen to my neighbors, to my co-workers, and to my family. And they listen to me even when sometimes we see things differently. Why do we do that? Because we are a nation of neighbors, not factions of foes.
The past few weeks as I’ve been digging into the data more to prepare these posts for you, I’ve seen this more and more. It has made me more confident in reaching out and having conversations with people that think differently than me. What did I find? Exactly what I expected. The people I talk to listen to my thoughts and I listen to them. And we often agree. When we don’t? We still listen 😁. Sometimes we change our minds, but regardless of the outcome we still remain committed to unity on our common values of freedom and trust. Because we know we will always be stronger and wiser together than we ever could be fighting one another.
I hope you don’t mind I’ve been moving this around, it has just made sense in the past couple posts. I hope that is okay with all of you 😎.
I know I have readers who voted for our former president and I love that you are hear. While I never voted for him, I regularly say 1) he was my president, too, 2) his words are dangerous for our neighbors and our nation, and 3) most average Americans who voted for him genuinely want the same things I do: more freedoms, more trust, and more results for average Americans like us.
I’m about to use the phrase “MAGA Republican leaders”. Let me make myself very clear. Even if you voted for him in 2016 and even in 2020, most of my Republican friends and family stand by the Constitution, support law-and-order, and oppose autocrats; when I use the above phrase I’m not talking about you pro-democracy Republicans.
Regardless of where you find yourself in this, I’m still glad you’re here. I’m glad to have you as a part of the discussion. I just made a commitment to this community to be transparent about where I’m coming from.
Not really divided...again
I said Addition > Division…
Polls ranging on health care, public education, and gun safety legislation show Americans agree on these issues often with a majority of 70%, 80%, and sometimes even almost 90% agreement (on universal background checks for gun purchases, actually).
I feel only more confident in that claim as I talk to all of you, dig into more research, and listen to people talk. You may have heard a song went viral recently and a stage full of millionares and billionares tried to act like it was their anthem. The song writer, Oliver Anthony, says he thinks its funny see those MAGA Republican leaders on that stage have to listen to his song during the debate because “I wrote that song about them.” Here is the post, but below is a YouTube video by another person I follow about it because I couldn’t figure out how to get the Twitter post to display right here.
Why do I bring this up?
Because I think we can all agree with the problems Oliver Anthony is highlighting in his song. The economy in the past 4 decades or so have benefitted the wealthy and well connected while leaving many average Americans hurting: incomes continue to rise for the rich and fluctuate for the middle class (link), health care costs have continued being a difficulty for many Americans (link), and recessions have kept hitting after Americans keep working hard to get our country back on track.
And I would argue that there are people fighting and getting results for average Americans. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 there have been 49 million new jobs in the U.S., 47 million of which have been during Democratic administrations. You can see below the income of families over time when adjusted for inflation. You can see all Americans did well together until around 1980. After that point, the largest increases of incomes for average Americans like us was from 1993 to 2000 and 2012 to present, seperated by the Great Recession of 2008.
Regardless of the details, one thing continues to be abundantly clear to me; the American people are the heroes of our collective story together. We are the ones doing the hard work to grow our economy, drive collective action in our communities, and foster unity and growth by listening to each other. We are the ones who band together when a World War against fascists in Germany required us to ration food to support freedom. And we are the ones who bake a casserole or loaf of banana bread for a neighbor when they are having a rough time.
Because we are a nation of neighbors, not factions of foes.
What good can I do?
If you want to help, here are 3 things I think we can all be doing:
Talk to poeple you think have different perspectives than you. Look for how much we have in common and celebrate that. 🎉
Commit with me to pressure leaders, local, state, and national, to stop trying to pit us against each other. Call them, email them, peacefully protest…Anyone can divide; it takes a leader to unite.
Send me seeds of hope to the new Seeds@SowingHope.How email. You can send me stories of when you found common ground with someone you thought you disagreed with, hopeful stories that lifted you up, exciting developments of how infrastructure projects, clean air/water investments, or a helpful neighbor has made your day better…bonus points if you sneak an emoji in there 😎🌱.
This is another one of my poems; the motivation behind this poem is the same motivation that drove me to start Sowing Hope. I pray it speaks to you, encourages you, and motivates us all to sow more hope, together 🌱.
My Home is Crumbling
My home is crumbling as I scramble with mud. Once I had straw, and sun- light, and fun, but it’s been replaced by cracking support- beams, degrading exterior walls, and the grief which has pierced my heart since the divorce which destroys my family. If Satan couldn’t keep a divided house standing, how could we sling stones and words in hostility at brothers and hope the home would stay upright.
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. - Matthew 12:25
Of course if I’m going to bring up the song by Oliver Anthony, I have to include it in the Bonus Tracks 😁.
While I feel some of the claims in the song are contrary to facts, I enjoy the song. Be aware, there is some language in it.