Jan 8 Photo, with Accompanying Soapbox

I took this one while once again playing around with the macro lens. It caused me some problems at first because I couldn’t get enough light at the bottom of the picture. My phone kept throwing an unwanted shadow across the penny.

Then it occurred to me that this might make for an interesting black and white photo. The high contrast between the reflection of the light and the shadow from the phone gives this picture, to me, a slightly unsettled feeling.

This unsettlement, coupled with the subject, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” feels timely. The Latin translates into “From many, one”. This refers to the states, and how they all came together to form a single union. Yet, these days, the union feels threatened. Not by Obama, or Trump, or a whole host of other players each of whom as a finger in the pie. No, I find the union threatened by our devotion to divisiveness. You can see this on social media every time you open Facebook or Twitter. There, in your newsfeed, you find someone yelling about how their side is right, and your side is wrong, about how the current administration is the savior of all humanity or the devil incarnate. The headlines are getting snarkier, with things like “You Won’t Believe How This Caller Shut Down Rush” or “What Obama Is Taking From You Next.”

We must learn, or perhaps re-learn, that we are one nation, and that, to make this nation stronger, we must find common ground. This means that we must do what is unthinkable these days. We must “compromise”. This does not mean that we give up our values or our ideologies. This means that we agree to work together to get things done, that we realize that this country cannot be led by a “my way or the highway” mentality that has plagued the last two administrations, that we agree that to come together and be stronger, we much each give ground to the other side so that a common bond can be reached. The extremists in both parties hate the word compromise. They feel that it means “to completely surrender your beliefs to the other side.” That’s not what it means. What compromise means is to “settle a dispute by mutual concession.” Mutual. Both sides coming to an agreement.

We have our differences. We should. It’s what makes for great conversation and thoughtful discourse. Great things can come from conflict. But when we treat each other as the enemy, then we are no longer a union. We are AB UNO MULTI, “From one, many.” Let’s try our best to avoid that. 

(Oh yeah, picture taken with an iPhone 6 using PureShot, macro lens by CamRah, cropped in Snapseed, and converted to B&W by Black Cam.)

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