We all know what a motto is, right?
And we know what separates a good motto from a not so good motto…namely, that we remember the good one.
Nike’s motto is a good one (Just do it).
Google’s motto not so good (Don’t be evil).
So a motto is a tag line, a slogan, a brief encapsulation of a core principle or purpose. They’re a condensed vision statement that is intended to be unforgettable.
Mottos are typically found on badges, banners, corporate seals, sides of buildings, billboards and T shirts.
The United States of America has a motto.
We didn’t always have one. We weren’t founded with one, nothing formally acknowledged that is. The Latin phrase, E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) was behaving as our motto up until 1956. Then, because of the Red Scare of Communism and the beginning of the Cold War, the phrase was given the cold shoulder. It was in 1956 that Congress passed an act, H.J. Resolution 396, adopting “In God We Trust” as the official motto of America. In the face of the atheistic, non-believing, religious oppressing, private property and wealth denying communist peril, we put our motto where our mouths were.
Our motto is found on our currency…our minted and printed money.
To make note that this motto has been controversial is to put it simply. But it is rather simple.
The use of the word ‘God’ in the motto for a country founded, in part, upon the freedom to not believe, as well as the freedom to believe in whatever you’d like, seems questionable.
Even one of our past Presidents considered this to be a bit of a sacrilege (whether it was a sacrilege towards God or towards money was not clear).
No matter. The motto is the motto.
My concern in bringing this up is that we seem to be a country living and promoting fear and not a country that’s trusting of much of anything at all. (other dimensional or not).
Our chosen motto is sounding and feeling hollow.
It’s like the Ford Motor Company having the motto, “Quality is job one” while producing Pintos.
There’s a serious disconnect here.
Trust is the necessary force and energy that brings a culture together and allows great things to happen. When we each trust in the goodness within us to bring out the goodness in those around us, we become more than a collection of individuals. We become a healthy and caring community, a nation of peoples united in that belief.
This is why the income inequality gap has created such an angst among us. This growing chasm is corroding the trust we once had as a populace that our nation’s abundance would be proportionately shared and that the opportunities for personal advancement would be equally available.
Most of us have serious doubts about both of these now.
We are losing our trust.
I shudder to think what an honest motto for us might be nowadays.
The hypocrisy of our current one, however, nearly unbearable.
I’m not worried about the word ‘God’.
It’s the crumbling of our trust in one another that has me aching.