By JOHN BRIDGELAND, October 4, 2020
Even as we face the hard realities of a pandemic, the fight for social justice, and divisive national politics, recent national polling offers a spot of good news. More than seven out of 10 Americans believe they have more in common with one another than many people think.
Those findings are part of a recent survey conducted for Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights and Institute of Politics. Americans, it turns out, are not as divided as our politics and news media might indicate.
But if that’s the good news, the opportunity here that has yet to be fully realized is translating this broader sense of unity into more cohesiveness within our society. And fortunately, there is a way to forge such connectedness, if we’re open to a big idea to enhance our national happiness.
Democracies are dependent upon engaged citizens. Yet, America doesn’t ask very much of us — we pay taxes and some of us vote. What’s needed are more rites of passage as young people come of age to foster a culture that places the individual American at the center of problem-solving.