THERE ARE A number of polls published that show 67% of the country is unhappy with the performance of our government. That indicates that two-thirds of the citizenry isn’t happy and wants things to change.

It’s been well documented that Americans are divided by race, income, gender, religion, politics and our visions for the future. With the prevalence of social media, everything is more amplified now.

We get our news instantly. That news is hashed and rehashed, and presented to us based on our preconceived notions. Officials are expected to tell us what’s going on and how it will affect us before they’ve had a chance to digest the facts and the consequences.

Some might want to say “At least it can’t get any worse,” but it probably will get worse before it starts getting better. The problems we face are monumental. There are no easy solutions. We believe they are different this time. There’s no blueprint for fixing these problems.

Forget about solutions that will be fair to all. Too many Americans are simply too stubborn to compromise. Unless all sides have a change of heart, the division will continue to fester. No one will benefit from this situation, but we will all be required to “pay a price for this divisiveness,” even if we have done nothing wrong.

We can only hope civility will return as we welcome the new year, and everyone embraces common sense and personal responsibility before the animosity takes us past the point of no return. Yes, that’s wishful thinking, but these are extraordinary times.

In these tough times, remember the words of wisdom learned from Noah. These 10 hints are called Noah’s lessons. Everything I need to know, I can learn from Noah’s ark. They have been passed down through the ages.

1. Don’t miss the boat.

2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.

3. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

4. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.

5. Don’t listen to critics. Just get on with the job that needs to be done.

6. Build your future on high ground.

7. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.

8. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

9. When you’re stressed, float awhile.

10. Remember, the ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.



*  *  *

THAT RAISES the question “What are we so unhappy about?” In America, the economy is strong, unemployment for nearly every group is the lowest in a very long time, we are educated, healthy and have the highest standard of living. Millions of people want to immigrate here.

About 12 years ago, The Tonight Show host Jay Leno penned an essay about what’s right about the world we live in.

Leno said “Stop buying the negativism you are fed every day by the media. Shut off the TV, put your electronic devices away for a week and promise yourself you will not follow your social media for a few months.

“Then, start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day or at least be thankful and appreciative.”

What are some things to be happy about? Well, we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter.

We have the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than a billion people around the world see in a whole year. You can get into your car and travel thousands of miles without fear of not finding a gas station.

You can drive from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean without having to present identification papers as you move through each state. There are thousands of clean and safe motels along the way that can provide temporary shelter.

Should you happen to have an accident, emergency workers are ready to show up and provide services to help all, even dispatch a helicopter to take you to a trauma center.

About 70% of Americans own a home. In case of fire, a team of trained firefighters will stop what they are doing, appear in minutes and use top-notch equipment to extinguish the flames, saving you, your family and your belongings.

With just a few limitations, you have religious, social and political freedoms. Yet 67% of the people are unhappy and are unwilling to find common ground on many issues. Shouldn’t we find ways to solve our differences before those differences destroy what we have?

Leno wrote “We are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the United States, yet has a great disdain for its citizens. 

“They see us for what we are: The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.”

The discord has to stop. We need to call a timeout. We should not be labeled as Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. It’s time, as the new year starts, that we tear down the walls between us and build bridges.