Viewpoint: Embracing our greatness  

By William (Billy) Brehm 

We as a nation are living with a sickness. The sickness is a state of deep denial. People on all sides of the equation are living in such a way by embracing that illness. The parties concerned are so far apart, yet they both have much of value and greatness to offer. 

We must address climate change, we must address immigration, we must address helping the truly needy, we must address reckless spending. The list of what we need to address is a long one and no one group, or person has all the answers. 

Why is it so difficult for us to take the good ideas so desperately needed and intertwine them with the good ideas others have and fight the good fight, the noble cause? 

Let us, as a people, reject all this hatred and outrage. America is a team, the greatest team the world has ever known, and we are all players on that team. Perhaps the root of the problem is that we have forgotten how to work as a team. 

We have been wrong for rejecting many of the good ideas some of our Republican leaders bring to the table. At the same time, we are wrong to reject some of our Democratic leaders’ good ideas as well.  

Why do we always need someone to blame? Why, when things go wrong, must there always be a need for a scapegoat? 

We are not being honest with ourselves if we cannot accept our failures and rise above them. Labels and name calling do not work; they create contempt and hatred. They are destructive. By using them, we are allowing ourselves to be much smaller than the greatness we can achieve by living, loving and working toward common goals. 

We, as a people, have forgotten how to write good laws that benefit most citizens. It requires us to work hard to put our hate aside and start to re-embrace compromise. If we remain a house divided, we will most certainly go quietly into the night. 

Our Constitution states, “to create a more perfect union.” That goal is, and always will be, a work in progress. We all have something of value to contribute. Because of this, we are a blessed and great nation. Let us embrace all that enables us to achieve those goals. Let always remember that the Constitution starts with the words, “We the People.” 

We are the people. It is our sacred duty to live up to the aspirations of our Founding Fathers when they started on this path to greatness. It is our responsibility to leave that great legacy to our children, and our children’s children. 

Let us reject that which is vain and inglorious. Only then can we achieve greatness and glory. 

Let us embrace what is written on the wall at Stanford University by its founder: “That which is not infinite is too small. That which is not eternal is too short.” Let us embrace greatness. 


William Brehm is a retired professional photographer – motion picture, television and print media coordinator living in Ellsworth with his wife Honora and their dog Burleigh. 

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