Many of us grew up with parents or grandparents who spoke with a distinctly not native accent. As a kid, it all seemed to make perfect sense. It wasn’t until later that we came to realize that there was something different about our grandmother from those of our friends. Still, we all integrated into a community. A community, at least, where everybody sounded a bit different from each other but a community, nonetheless. It wasn’t equally easy for everyone. The occasional bigot would try to block the path. But in time, where and how people could contribute would prevail. Perhaps it is in this very notion of service that hearts and minds are thawed.
Has the American body politic changed to the point that the melting pot has cooled? When we boast of the 2020 “record-high” voter turnout of a tick more than 66 percent, should we instead be talking about the third of us who opted out? Who is starting businesses? Who is guiding us into faith? Who is volunteering to serve? Who is raising their children to become the next generation of leaders?
Slight of stature and not a doppelganger for an evening news anchor, Diego Morales is iconoclastic. Arriving with his family from Santa Cruz, Guatemala, he learned to speak English, went to college, served in the U.S. Army, then became a naturalized citizen, settled down and started his family. Now, he wants to be the first Hispanic to serve as Indiana Secretary of State. How is it that Diego, and countless others like him, in spite of what must not have been an easy journey, still pushes to march on, even charge the hill? Hope? Ambition? Fear? Gratitude? Responsibility? A bit of each? Asked why, Diego points to the Parable of the Talents. He may be right.