Perspective: American Values

Sep 1, 2020

Kaneland’s school year has begun unusually. Our teachers worked hard to prepare and provide our students with the best education for this moment. It’s not a typical situation, so our actions and expectations cannot be typical.

All summer we asked -- how do we move through a time where nothing is normal and no plan seems appropriate? That we have to make things up as we move forward? How do we succeed when everything feels like an experiment?

Although these questions seemed appropriate for school, they also point to our nation’s current state.

Our answers lie in America’s unofficial motto -- E pluribus unum -- out of many, one. It’s not easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard either.

American values create conflict. They say we are all equal and all individuals. They remind us to work hard but to consume everything. Even “E pluribus unum” -- suggests contradiction. Somehow, with our different and unique qualities, values, and thoughts, we must unify as one nation.

In the mess of it all, take one step back to gain the larger view -- to see multiple perspectives and directions. It provides clarity to combine and collaborate. From that process, new ideas and answers form. People connect and then can accept each other and realize differences can be our strengths. As a society, Americans must take care of all members even when we don’t see eye to eye.

It’s the American way. Maybe we just need a reminder of that.

I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective.