America isn’t a place—it’s an idea; an idea rooted in principles found in the honored creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
We have often fallen short in living up to our ideals. This is America’s story. We dream big and fall short. We aspire to lofty ideals but our day to day is messy and inconsistent will those ideals.
Fortunately, something in the creed keeps pushing us forward causing us to break through and more perfectly move upward. We push on determined to extend those promised blessings to more and resist, even at the expense of our lives, the exclusion of those ideals to any who seek them.
Let’s take today and pause to ponder deeply those ideals. Let’s be honest with who we are and who we yet can become. Let’s do more than look to the past with a lens of patriotic zeal seeing only our proudest moments or look back seeing only our sins and the misdeeds cankering our soul and leaving us hopeless.
We look to the past insomuch as it is our guide for the future telling us what to embrace and what to shun, what to celebrate and what to reconcile. With the clarity only hindsight can give, we fix our view to the future, bending our wills to those ideals that will move us step by step to a more perfect union.
Let’s aspire to be as kind as we are courageous! As committed to equality as we are to obtaining wealth. Let’s temper our fierceness by our love for our fellow man.
We are great! We are troubled! We can heal! We can rededicate ourselves to our enshrined creeds, our core beliefs, our sacred vows—written in stone, paid for with blood and sealed on the heart of every person yearning to be free.