Every so often we hear that there are “two Americas.” It refers to gaps in our politics, in our economy, and in our social justice.
I believe there are two Americas …
There is Macro-America, which we know from media – a prism that, by its audience-chasing nature, favors noise over nuance. It typically only has time and taste for gross generalizations (pun intended).
There also is Micro-America, whose finely-textured granularity and rich resources of salt-of-the-earth humanity we know at ground level, not at a head-in-the-clouds level.
We know it from our neighbors. We know it from our community camaraderie. We know it from our civic engagement. We know it from our charitable endeavors. We know it from local recreation like youth sports and frolicking in the park.
Micro-America is a lot more hospitable and life-affirming to inhabit than Macro-America. It is, in the words of 41st U.S. President George H.W. Bush, gentler and kinder.
Micro-America has people like Croton-on-Hudson’s John Habib and Peekskill’s Bruce Bellom, two men memorialized by close friends in these pages (8 & 9) for all the right reasons.
I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Bruce, and was just getting to know John. That’s my loss, just as their very untimely passing is everyone’s loss.
I know not whether they knew each other, but what they seemed to have in common is an abiding respect for the opinions and feelings of others, politics be damned.
In that respect, John Habib and Bruce Bellom were great Micro-Americans.
We all could stand to learn from the way they lived – and loved their fellow human.