To the Editor:

From the words of Confucius: “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.”

We can no longer afford to remain unconscious or uninformed about ourselves and others. The consequences of our ambivalence and ignorance about our past history of racism and prejudice have uncovered much about who we are and where we need to go from here. This 2020 election will not only be a referendum on our current administration, but also, a morality test for “we the people.”

For the sake of our beloved country and our children’s future, may I suggest that this might be a good time to close our mouths and open our ears. This would also be a good time to review our critical thinking skills and learn to develop empathy and compassion for people who we do not know, especially those who we do not agree with or who do not look like us. To do otherwise, would be irresponsible and uncaring. This kind of mindset only invites repeating history in ways that sets our country backwards instead of moving us forward.

The universe has put us in a timeout. Before this pandemic, we were consumed by our great economy, while at the same time, many people failed to notice that not everyone has shared in the American dream. For some people, these dark and tumultuous days have become a time for solitude and reflection, while for others, denial, fear and despair continues to grow along with the virus.

Please do not be sucked in by all the dangerous rhetoric and cult-like performances disguised within religious demagoguery and deceitful practices misrepresenting the truth with a capital T. Just ask yourself this question: Have the last four years inspired you to be a better person, rather than: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

If we only focus on the economy, the stock market and “winning,” we may miss the moment when our windows turn into mirrors and life questions us instead: How can we truly learn to “love our neighbors as ourselves?”

Norma Davenport