One of the greatest things about the United States is its diversity, in my opinion. Look at all the different types of music, art, and writing available to us. We’re packed with all sorts of different people, and not just in skin color. There are so many personalities and cultures, a plethora of foods to choose from whether you’re feeling up for Italian, Chinese, or just a juicy burger; even our states are so different from each other.

I wish my idea and summary of America was shared more in terms of how powerful we can be through our diversity. Unfortunately, it seems our whole nation is triggered and charged… it seems we’re so divided. I would like to point out the key words in those sentences “it seems”.

I live in a different world from this division. I live in a world where even my enemies can become my friends. I know you can’t please everyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get along. Personally, I don’t identify anybody as an enemy in relation to myself. I have rivals. I have challengers. I have all sorts of other words for how I really feel for someone that might be considered an “enemy” from an outside perspective. Even so, is it really so obscure to consider the well-being of your “enemy”?

There are many things that have contributed to my feeling this way. I’ve been through enough myself to understand that there isn’t enough room – and there never was enough room – on this planet for petty things. That’s up to personal perspective, of course, but I’m sure we all have a pretty good understanding universally of what is petty and what isn’t. To help understand how to identify what is petty and what isn’t, keep “the bigger picture” in mind, whatever that might be for yourself.

I’m not going to talk about division, though. There’s plenty of that. I want to talk about things we have in common, because we have far more in common with each other than differences. I feel we’re allying ourselves with others based on “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” philosophy without understanding that there is another way to become allies. We just have to find out where our common goals are.

The importance of our differences isn’t to focus on them as negativities, but as different gifts and resources and knowledge and ideas; we need to see our differences as a developing super power rather than as something to be afraid of. When we combine our differences for a common goal, we accomplish so much and we do it quickly.

That is one of so many reasons why I am excited for the total eclipse and one reason why I chose to get married to the woman of my dreams. Regardless of our differences, there will be millions of people who will be doing the exact same thing I’m doing that day: we’ll all be waiting for and watching the eclipse. If that isn’t a good reason to celebrate, I don’t know what else.

This is why weddings and funerals are so sacred to me and apparently to everyone else. Culturally, it is sacred no matter what language you speak. Most of us are able to set aside these things that are petty in nature to celebrate someone else’s life, even after death. These things are underestimated but truly powerful in uniting us even if it’s just for the moment.

The eclipse is one of those moments because it’s not just me and my family and friends getting together to view it, to celebrate it. Jazmin’s friends and family, all of my coworkers at the Times-Herald; the entire city of Alliance is throwing a weekend celebration just for the Eclipse. We aren’t the only city, either! Think of how many other cities will be celebrating with you at the exact same time, all of these other people throughout the nation, millions of them, that will be doing what I’m doing.

It is not often that one event can bring people together from around the world and to our country. It’s not often that this many people come together for something that could easily be taken for granted. Though we are all riddled with differences, it’s all put aside for those visiting or living within the path.

I’m left with unanswered questions for what will happen after the eclipse. Can we ride that wave to a more permanent form of unity or is this a fleeting moment like “love” in a reality T.V. show? Will we begin to appreciate the things we take advantage of and lose sight of or will we just continue about our day like nothing happened?

I would like to think that the eclipse will be a life-changing event, though I’m cautiously optimistic, understanding that there is a potential reality different from my expected reality. That day will change my life forever, that’s certain. Will it change yours? #OnlyTimeWillTell

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