In my feeds this morning are some statements recalling how united they thought we were on 9/12/2001 and wishing that was the same today. A deeper, perhaps more meaningful question might be, why is it that the United States can only unite around hatred for an external enemy?

Some thought, many hoped, back then that the event would be a catalyst for change. Of course change is always happening, transformation is what is really desired. The difference is between what naturally happens and intent. Transformation requires true understanding of from what to what, which in turn requires a desire to look within.

Take for example the pandemic. Much of the struggle amongst ourselves is superficial. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask. Get the vaccine, I’ll never get the vaccine. Our attention is on these arguments with little thought about why the arguments are even happening.

For me what the pandemic exposes, and what has existed from well before 9/11, is a majority of people stuck within the basic animal instinct to view everything and everyone by comparison. Either you’re or with me or you’re against me is one of our most basic survival instincts. While this instinct keeps us alive in a moment of crisis, living constantly in this mode prevents one from growing and usually makes us vulnerable to being manipulated in to decisions not in our long term best interests.

The transformation some of us desired after 9/11 that would have resulted in more unity did not happen because there was no intention for it to happen. Change, yes, that has happened, we have evolved to a more fractured not united state than before, and will apparently continue to do so unless we intentionally chose a different path.

The United States of America is only 245 years old. In comparison to the world, the U.S. is a toddler, to the universe, an infant. Our growth (transformation) relies in embracing the seemingly conflicting values of liberty and unity, by transformation from an either/or worldview to a both/and worldview. The transformation will not be easy because everything we know and see around us is built on and reinforces either/or. Either/or keeps power in power. Take the red pill