E pluribus unum – can we do it? 

….out of many, one. A Latin phrase emblazoned on every piece of American currency we have in our wallets, change jars and seat cushions. I find myself quite fascinated at how the currencies of other countries are designed. Britain and Scottish notes are bright, brilliant, colorful. They even have one now made of plastic that is indestructible (i.e. at least you can’t rip it). Bahrain notes are graced with beautiful Arabic horses – equally as vibrant. They’re like works of art!! On this 4th of July, it made me take a second look at our own money. If you were to look at it with fresh eyes, you’d notice there’s quite a lot of interesting and cryptic symbolism laced throughout. The pyramid with the eye above it. “E pluribus unum.” “In God we trust.” The eagle, olive branches, arrows. The small letter on quarters indicating the place the coin was minted. Quite fascinating. Gives me a good excuse to consider it anew. This one phrase – “E pluribus unum” has stuck with me in particular. I suppose because of all of the in-your-face controversy caused by recent events in America – the Charleston Nine tragedy at Mother Emanuel which revived the Confederate Flag and gun regulation issues in the south and now the nation. The legalization of gay marriage – of which I am utterly shocked at some of my own friends’ reaction to. Typical Bible Belt intolerance. With all of this controversial debate, hate, unacceptance and otherwise extreme divisiveness occurring in the US as we speak, is it possible for the great “melting pot of freedom” to bind together in fresh understanding and peace? Can we – “the many” – combine together as “one”? I wish it were that simple. Sometimes I wonder, for all our beautiful diversity, if we’re moreso destined to endlessly fight each other to our own demise. In the Spirit of the 4th, I would implore you to search your pockets for the first bit of US currency you can find. Have a good look at it and really think about what it means to embrace one of our core values and beliefs: “e pluribus unum.” Even more importantly – search your hearts for the spirit of wisdom and understanding needed to progress as a nation.

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