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  • Eichel Davis

Not Me, Us.

Anyone who knows me knows I love people. To me, people should be the center of everything we do. People should be the reason we get up every morning, and work hard, and make something ourselves. It should be about people. And for many, I think it is. I think people truly drive them, but far too many of us have become apathetic toward the lives we don't know. We’ve become cold and unwavering to the people on the other side of the tracks, and the people we’ll never know.

I thank my mom and family for my mentality every day. You see, my family is full of servants. My grandma was a nurse at a nursing home. My great aunt worked in child protective services. My aunt has worked in hospitals for over 25 years. And now two of my cousins follow suit. My sister wants to work in childhood development. And my mother, well she’s one of the greatest servants of all. We’ve never had much, sometimes we had almost nothing. But we always had enough for others. We always had extra space in our home for people who needed it. And as a kid, I didn’t understand it, but as I’ve gotten older, I realize how important that was. People are far from perfect. They make mistakes, they fall on hard times. But they should never be left alone to rot. People aren't things to be cast into a dark alley. They are beautiful creatures who deserve our constant respect and love and patience, no matter if they can ever return the favor.

I’ve been asked why I don’t mind paying taxes. Simply put, I think it’s our civic duty. To pay it forward. This country has afforded us privileges, and opportunities, some many more than others. It’s important that we pay it back. It’s important that we provide funds for schools, where some kids get the best meals of their day. It’s important that we provide funds to fix our crumbling infrastructure so that our bridges hold firm and our electrical grid stays hot. It’s important that we provide funds to offset healthcare, to make sure our mail arrives on time, to make sure our veterans are never homeless, and to make sure when people fall down, they’re not left there. Taxes are the way this country provides a hand to people when they need it. It’s a way we help our neighbors, whether they're on our street or in our state, or far away. Helping each other, protecting each other, caring for each other. That’s what it means to be a good citizen. We should all strive to be public servants.

And yes, the system is broken. Our tax dollars aren’t being used in ways they should. And that’s a problem we must address and address now. Elect people who use your money the way you want it to be used. Hold them accountable. But paying taxes isn’t a necessary evil. It’s a necessary good.

We talk a lot about people who make history. But before their breaks, you interact with people who will change the world every day. You help them in ways you or them don’t see. You ride elevators with these people, you cheer with them at football games. Your tax dollars can fund their schools, and make sure they have access to healthcare, basic isms that allow so many people freedom of mind to focus on changing our world.

If you’re reading this, and I don’t know you, or your story, know that I love you. I love you not because you’re providing a view or because you think like me, or even because you’re an American like me. I love you because you are ordained and created by God, and that gives you value so much value.

I believe that there are more civic servants in this country than selfish people concerned only for themselves and their own. I believe there are more good people in this great broken home of ours that work, strive, succeed, and vote with others on their minds and hearts, than people who chose to do those things for personal gain.

It’s been a hard year. We’ve lost so much, and so many. But when I think of 2020, the thing I will think about most is how so many of us came together to help each other. I’ll think of our first responders. I’ll think of people who worked at grocery stores and farms so that we could continue to eat. The people who worked around the clock to provide masks, and protective equipment. I’ll think of neighbors who helped teach kids when schools were closed, or provide meals to their fellow citizens, and just lend a helping hand, even as they undoubtedly struggled themselves. I’ll think of the strangers on social media who used their platform to connect with people all around the world when we couldn't be together in person. I’ll think of the movement, the marching the streets, the selflessness it took to put your safety at risk to make sure that this country changed. You see, when I think about America, these are the people I think about.

The best of us, the most of us.

It comes back to those famous words. e Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.



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