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A new dawn looms as we free it,
For there is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it,
If only we are brave enough to be it.
— Amanda Gorman
At the Inauguration of President Biden today, inaugural poet Amanda Gorman read her stunning poem “The Hill We Climb.”
I am not describing her age here nor the color of her skin because they are irrelevant to the genius of her words.
It is a Law of Nature that the leader of any endeavor sets the intention for that endeavor, whether it is a country, a family, a business, and organization, the Earth, the universe, or an individual human life.
Today President Biden gave us his intention for the United States of America.
Democracy has been challenged, but it rises again as our natural state of governance.
Read and watch President Biden’s Inaugural address here…
In the process of writing the Lifely post E Pluribus Unum—Of Many One , I was led to an old book called De Officiis (Of Duties or On Obligations) which was written by Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar and philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero in the year 44 BC. It was Cicero’s gift to humanity, to define ideals of how men should behave in society in order to achieve lasting and happy relations.
I found a free copy online and started reading it.
It’s an amazing, amazing, amazing book that explains how humans can live together co-operatively and productively quite simply, within our lifely context, of course.
Some weeks ago I wrote a post about the phrase E Pluribus Unum but didn’t publish it. It just seemed like it wasn’t the whole story. I’m happy I waited because there was more to come.
Then a couple of weeks ago I was watching the national news and the head of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry—who presided over the marriage of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry—was interviewed about his new book Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times [I haven’t read this book]. He is a descendant of enslaved people and the first Black man to lead his church.
Since Joe Biden first announced his candidacy for president, he has been saying that he is fighting for “the soul of America.”
Even then I wanted to know what he meant by that, so I searched online to see how he defined “the soul of America.” I found nothing from him, but did find a best-selling book called The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.
I read the entire book and have been wanting to write a post with my comments on the subject, but the time didn’t seem right.
And now, yesterday morning, when I saw the new Biden-Harris ad (above) I knew it was time.
Larry and I voted!
This is actually the first time that we have voted together, where we studied all the candidates and issues and then voted together exactly the same, so we contributed two votes in agreement instead of having disagreeing votes cancelling each other out.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg left her body over the weekend after a life well lived.
She made an immense contribution to our society by standing up for citizens of all genders to have equal rights under the law.
After experiencing discrimination as a Jew and a woman early in her life, she used her skills as a lawyer reforming the laws of the USA to be gender-equal.
I have to admit that for most of my life I haven’t voted because I felt like my one vote wouldn’t make a difference. And the result is now a mess.
So this year I have finally joined “we the people” who vote and by voting create our country.
Larry and I spent most of the day yesterday reading our voter handbook and discussing our state propositions.
Now we need to study the candidates.
I wanted to give you a great resource we found online…
It seems like every year at this time I want to write about independence from one thing or another, and this year is no different.
But each year I seem to have some new awareness of a different aspect.
This year I chose an image of the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence because it is the moment that the declaration of independence from the King of England was made, and the colonists of American declared themselves to be free.
In the same way, Larry and I are declaring ourselves free from the tyrannies of industrialization every time we write a post for this blog. Day by day, step by step, we become more independent of industrialization.
Over the weekend I registered to vote.
I have to admit that I haven’t voted for most of my life. I felt like there was no point. I didn’t feel strongly one way or another about the candidates or the issues.
But something changed for me this year. It was both an internal change of feeling more like a citizen and also feeling like there are things going on in the world now that I want to change.
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
As children, all of us who were born and raised in the USA got every Monday-Friday, went to school, put our right hands over our hearts, and pledged allegiance to the flag. I’m sure I didn’t understand what I was saying or doing when I first memorized the pledge at age six, but now, as I approach age 65 (in 4 more days) and after experiencing the current events of the past few weeks, this childhood pledge came up in my memory.
Perhaps not coincidentally to current events, a couple of weeks ago I suddenly had the idea that I wanted to read the small book “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine.
Published on 9 January 1776, this pamphlet set forth his persuasive arguments in favor of independence for the American colonies from Great Britain.
It is considered one of the most influential pamphlets in American history and is credited with uniting average citizens and political leaders behind the idea of creating a union of the thirteen colonies in to a single united government. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best-selling American title and is still in print today.
On 29 May I was watching our governor, Gavin Newsom, on television. Suddenly he departed from his prepared script and made these comments.
Yes, yes, yes! We are all for caring, collaboration, and empathy in government. We’ll be watching to see how he does this.