A few weeks ago, we announced the Dear America Project. The goal: discover what – if anything – ties us together as Americans.
We highlighted it in the newsletter, posted it copiously on social media, and asked y’all to share it with your family and friends.
The result: close to 300 in-depth responses from all backgrounds and creeds regarding the long-term future of the country. (Kudos and many thanks to you all. 👏)
Then came the fun part: reading the answers and figuring out how to organize them to share with you. And so, with the enthusiasm of a puppy seeing snow for the first time, we got to work.
After crunching the data, the answer to the answers became clear. Five topics were overwhelmingly mentioned: Climate Change/Environment, Social Equality/Help for Society’s Disaffected, Education, Healthcare, and *drumroll please* Overcoming Tensions in Society to Find Unity.
When combined, every response mentioned a problem or solution pertaining to at least one of these five buckets. (Peep our methodology here.)
But the even more interesting part is gleaned from the responses themselves.
Without further ado,this week’s first topic: Overcoming Tensions in Society to Find Unity, which will herein be referred to as “OTSFU” to save our poor, tired typing fingers.
🔍 The Scoop on OTSFU
How We Defined It: Any response pertaining to or containing mention of the division we face in our current society or living in harmony/unity. For example:
”I would like to live in a country where people can disagree about politics and other issues, and still treat each other with kindness and respect.”
“I want more love and less division in the U.S. My hope is folks in this country find something to unite around.”
By the Numbers:
Sixty-one percent of overall respondents mention OTSFU.
Out of those respondents, 28% also mention Climate Change/Environment, 26% also mention Social Equality/Help for Society’s Disaffected, and 10% also mention Healthcare.
👥 Meet the OTSFU’ers
Put Another Way: Nearly 75%are under 35.
Put Another Way: 55% have a college degree (our high student exposure could account for some of the 45% without a college degree).
Put Another Way: Nearly 80% fall between Right-Center and Left-Center on the political spectrum.
Put Another Way: The large grouping near Austin, TX, can potentially be explained by the location of our world headquarters. 😉
🤝 Mediator: Poetic, kind and altruistic people, always eager to help a good cause.
🏛️ Architect: Imaginative and strategic thinkers, with a plan for everything.
🎖️ Commander: Bold, imaginative and strong-willed leaders, always finding a way – or making one.
💬 In Their Words
“I would love to see a country that emphasizes and celebrates rational thought, inclusivity, and diversity. I want to see our country become a place that accepts that ideological differences will always exist and that ideology is not always tied to morality. I would love to see an increase in literacy rates, a decline in child mortality rates, and paternity + maternity care for all.” –Hallie from St. Louis, MO
“Dear America, My hope for the future is that we can become less divided. People are becoming extremely one-sided, which is causing major conflict and chaos. If only people were more open minded and slower to drawing conclusions, maybe large conflicts would happen less frequently (if not never), and people would learn how to coexist and cooperate better.” –Alex from La Crosse, WI
“I want a country that flourishes on kindness, values, and truth. I want there to be a resounding respect for all people, all life forms, and all that makes up our beautiful planet. I want to see a country that takes care of its people while still challenging them to work hard and earn the rewarding feeling of accomplishing all tasks. I want a country that values truth and seeks it. I want us to not forget our old and gray and the history there while looking to the colorful and opportunistic future. I want a country to celebrate because it deserves to be celebrated.” –Sara from St. Clairsville, OH
I want more love and less division in the US. My hope is folks in this country find something to unite around, whether that’s the environment, healthcare, racial equality, or more honest information providers – or all of these important topics. I know I don’t want people to have to spend an arm and a leg to care for medical issues. I don’t want people to be afraid of getting shot while going about their daily business. I don’t want people to have to deal with the destruction of their homes from a changing climate. I hope there is more education, more job opportunities, and more friendship and care for our neighbors. We have to take care of each other, even if we’ve never met. We can’t always assume the worst of each other. I hope there’s more love for the unknown person as much as there is for the known people in our lives. –Madeline from Fairfax, VA
To quote from Preemtive Love, an NGO that has inspired a lot of the way I look at meeting the problems in our world, “There is a lot we cannot control in moments like this. But we can decide what kind of people we will be—and what we will do in the aftermath of all that’s been unmade this year.” I don’t think anyone in our country’s government has ever seen eye-to-eye, except on the core foundations of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I pray that America becomes once again a land that accepts those who are seeking refuge or a new start. I pray that it becomes a land built from every culture of the world, highlighting, supporting, and providing opportunity for all- based on their dreams, not their skin color. I pray for representation and a voice for all, that party lines aren’t blue and red; but span half a dozen parties that will thoughtfully represent our nation’s varied needs. –Grace from Atlanta, GA
You and two friends check into a hotel. Your charge for the room (two beds & a pullout) is $30.
You pay $10, as do each of your friends (10+10+10=30). You all head up to the room to hang out, leaving your luggage for the bellboy.
The manager then comes to a chilling realization: he made a mistake and overcharged you for the room. It only costs $25.
He gives $5 to the bellboy to bring up to your room. The bellboy thinks, “I can’t split these five one-dollar bills across three people” – so he pockets $2, giving the remaining $3 back to you and your two friends.
You’re now out $9, as are each of your friends. This comes to $27 total (9+9+9=27).
The bellboy has $2.
$27 + $2=$29 total.
Where did the extra dollar go?
(Here’s the answer whenever you’re ready. Don’t feel bad if you can’t figure it out – our CEO needed considerable time and a whiteboard.)
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🎭 All The World’s A Stage
Which Disney film was inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet?
A) A Bug’s Life B) Frozen C) The Lion King D) Toy Story
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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