I have admitted my idealistic propensities. Because of those, I have always been enthused and inspired by some of the founding documents of America. Last year I wrote for a week or more about those. I’m going to do a bit more of discovering literature that pertains to the early history of the United States in the next few days.
I would clarify my emotions, though. I am not as excited and enthusiastic about July 4 as I have been throughout most of my life. The reasons for that are twofold but related.
The course of the political scene over the past year or so sickens, disgusts, and alarms me, in addition to dampening my spirits. This current executive branch and his support staff, cabinet choices, and advisers include some who are clueless, some who are manipulative, Ego-driven oligarchs, and some who have no competency, respect, or savvy in their assigned positions.
This leads to the second reason my enthusiasm has waned considerably this year. Blind nationalism that assumes superiority over minorities and other nations — the “I’m right, they’re wrong; I’m bigger and stronger and will tell you what to do” mentalities — is worthless shit to me. Part of that has been embodied in the “make America great again” mentality. This spawns two questions: What is the definition of great? When did that occur? The phrase is a meaningless, trite, stupid manipulation playing on that blind nationalism theme.
Some may wonder exactly where I do stand. Let me make it clear. I am an idealist. So were the sentiments and philosophies of much of the literature and of the Founders of this nation. They, like all of us, definitely had Ego and expressed it in their lives and work at times. However, in my opinion, the unique thing about the establishment of this nation as captured especially in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is they are based on idealistic vision and constructed so that we could function in idealism of Heart-energy. However, the framers of those documents and others of the time understood that Ego could easily dominate the workings of individuals and nations, so they put safeguards in them.
Yet, the hypocrisy created by Ego inserting protections against the full expression of Heart shows through, and in that I see the wisdom of the checks and balances so deftly woven into the Constitution. In John Dickinson’s and Thomas Jefferson’s declaration on the “Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775” adopted at the beginning of the Second Continental Congress, about a year before the Declaration of Independence, one of these hypocrisies arise: “We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. — Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us” (Miller and Parrish 117). Does that mean that forced slavery is better, more acceptable, more full of “humanity?” Didn’t all people receive freedom from their ancestors somewhere in the past? Subjugation is not a natural state of any race, ethnicity, or culture.
These founders saw that slavery presented a hypocrisy. That’s why slaves are addressed in the Constitution. It’s why the amendment system was put into the Constitution. That’s why we can be quite assured that the Constitution was intended to be a malleable, adaptable, living document. The further moral problem in the Causes and Necessity document comes with these words: “…being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves” (Miller and Parrish 118). How could this be the drive to prepare for and then declare war when they forcefully disregarded as humans fellow creatures? Hypocrisy.
George Washington knew it. In a personal letter about slavery, he said, “I hope it will not be conceived…that it is my wish to hold the unhappy people…in slavery. I can only say that there is not a man living, who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority…” (Miller and Parrish 229). Yet, the colonies were ready to take up arms. Yes, they had tried other avenues. I show this only to say that the issue was present from the very beginning, and while an ideal condition was expressed, Ego-energy prevented significant action for another ninety years or so.
And this brings me back to my idealism. I think when issues are recognized, action needs to be taken, action based on the documents that captured the possibility and course of Heart-energized idealists. In fact, Ego-driven oligarchs such as are asserting dominance now have no place in governing a country with the basis of Heart built into it. It’s why we have a Bill of Rights, and it’s interesting that the first amendment is under assault directly right now because of a rank egotist.
You know, I’m leaving it here tonight. More to come. I will say this once again: the encouragement and opportunity for each one to live Heart-truth based on the value of each person is built into America’s founding documents, one being the Declaration of Rights, written a few months before the Declaration of Independence and profoundly influenced that document as well as the Bill of Rights. In Section 1, George Mason wrote these words: “That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights…” (Miller and Parrish 124). Like I said, beautiful and idealistic, and that should be the spirit of our elected leaders. It’s not so common right now.
(Work Cited: Miller, Joel J. and Parrish, Kristen, eds. The Patriot’s Reference. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2014. Print.)
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!