Our current political environment has changed what’s important to everyone.

For some it may be human rights, such as Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, health care, immigration, etc. For others it’s simply a win on their tally sheet regardless of the widespread effects that win may have on local and worldwide societies.

It’s an environment where some think science is a belief, religion is a fact and vice versa. Where the words I’m speaking out of my mouth or typing through my fingers are truth because I simply believe them to be.

The trick is to know how to create “trigger” words or phrases and use them. When used effectively, a trigger word or phrase can shut down reasonable or common sense thoughts. They trigger our emotions, shut down our ability to really hear what’s being said or really understand what’s being read. Emotion can (and most often will) overpower reason.

You see this every day in marketing both online and in stores. You have sites that track your viewing history and provide ads for things that you not only want but need and they’re just a few clicks away. You have stores set up with little impulse-buy items that you just grab and throw into your cart because they’re only a couple of dollars, you’ve already envisioned how you can incorporate it into your life or they just sounds good at that very moment.

If I were to use trigger words, do you think you could read past them and really pay attention to what I’m saying? Would your emotions take over and stop you?

It’s often difficult to know what to believe when Fake News is everywhere. You just don’t know what apple you can trust. Red Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala? There’s always a possibility they’ll be wormy.

“Fake news” is currently a very strong emotional trigger. Did you notice how I finished that sentence? Did you already set yourself off on a tirade of expletives or start drafting a comment or reply to my perceived stance on the media?

Politics have always been and will always be around. They’re a societal necessity and they’re everywhere. Politics permeate talk shows, comedy acts and especially social media. The president of the United States even uses social media as a main source of communication the world.

One core value we need to adopt as humanity is to push aside our ignorance and educate ourselves and consider the sources of your information. Confirm the source is concerned with documenting the truth and pursuing the survival of humanity in harmony with our environment.

The greatest accomplishment of the current administration to date is telling the people that there’s only black and white. It’s their way or our way, us against them. This creates a divided people.

But there are multiple shades of everything in this world. There’s black, brown, white, Africans, Americans, African-Americans, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Asians, Asian-Americans, etc. What makes America great isn’t just one thing, it isn’t just one person.

We wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the diversity of our nation. We wouldn’t be strong if we weren’t willing to stand up and fight for one another. We wouldn’t be America if we weren’t compassionate, accepting and caring about everyone, regardless of race, citizenship, social status, wealth or gender.

A divided nation is a broken nation, a fragile nation. Weak and vulnerable.

It’s important to learn, understand and remember that the progress we’ve made in our young history has built us up and strengthened us. Emancipation, women’s rights, civil rights, etc., have done nothing but create bonds that should be unbreakable.

When we stand together, side-by-side, arm-in-arm, we are America. Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Carl Curtis

Carl Curtis, Salt Lake City, is a mortgage professional with a growing passion for politics, human rights and environmental improvements.