The Star-Spangled mask

The Star-Spangled mask

I’m a Canadian who’s been teaching leadership in the U.S. for almost 15 years. Yet this is the first election cycle in which I’ve been labeled a “foreigner” and told to stop “meddling.” It happened more than once, each time by a Trump supporter.

The insecurity that President Trump has unleashed makes me question what I grew up believing America to be: confident like nobody’s business.

As individuals, most Americans I know — including Trump sympathizers — exude a welcome-to-the-nation vibe. But I’ve come to see that the bonds of nationhood run thin.

For starters, I’ve learned that it’s not the United States of America. It’s the United States of America. You’d never know that by living next to the world’s fiercest flag-wavers. Ardent patriotism, it turns out, may well be masking deep insecurity.

If that’s true, then this migrant would like to offer a thought about the way forward. To cultivate a more perfect union, let’s dispense with proving our perfection and humbly focus on building our union.

I’ll contribute by teaching young Americans a brave new leadership skill that complements public speaking — namely, public listening. As for those who hate my meddling, I can’t wait to hear about their contributions. That’s if they remove their non-Covid masks.

Photo credit: Zach Vessels on Unsplash

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