The Good and the Bad are Inseparable

by baldilocks

No one should feel guilty about any crime they didn’t personally commit, but whenever I read a post and a thread like this one (from 2008) regarding white guilt, I wonder whether such people are equally as fervent about distancing themselves from the laudable actions and baldilockslegacies of our Founding Fathers–or that of the World War Two Generation–as they are about disassociating themselves from the country’s distant slave-holding past and not-so-distant oppressive past (45 years ago).

If our good history is relevant to who we, as Americans, are today, then so is our bad history and there’s nothing wrong with thinking about and acknowledging the truth about both. Our foundation is composed of both. However, it does not, or rather, it need not follow that blame be cast or guilt be felt as a result of admitting the truth. Think first; feel second, if at all.

Just saying.

Not being perfect, America and Americans have not and do not always reach the bar which we had set for us in the late eighteenth century. However, we should feel grateful to God–not guilty–that our Founding Fathers gave us such a high bar to reach for in the first place. When we fall short we get up and try again. That’s our heritage and to have all too many parts of the country wallow in both guilt and blame is quickly giving rise to a lot of bitterness and pointless anger—not to mention grief.

Feel blessed, and not guilty or vengeful. Both areas are God’s provinces.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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