"You can always count on the U.S. to do the right thing - once it has exhausted the alternatives." - Winston Churchill
"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."
- Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt
In the days when the U.S. was being born through a declaration of independence, and a groundbreaking Constitution, one of our founding statesmen was scientist, thinker, inventor, writer/publisher, and bon vivant, Benjamin Franklin.
One afternoon, upon leaving the Pennsylvania Statehouse (which we call Independence Hall today) a passing tradesman asked him what was going on inside. Dr. Franklin told about a chair in the statehouse which had a half-sun carved upon it. "I look at that sun and ask myself if it is a rising, or a setting sun. Today I know that it is a rising sun. We have a free country, a democracy . . . if we can keep it."
I love the land of my birth; it's a natural way to feel. But lately I, and many other citizens, have been made to feel disloyal for calling our country back to it's better angels. My entire life has been lived in a time of culture war. Liberty, free opinion, civility, have all been damaged in some deep way. But now those warriors are getting on in age. A new generation of pragmatism, one motivated by high ideals, prepares to take center stage.
I have seen JFK rise and fall. Dr. King inspire and fall. I have seen humans walk on the moon, polio defeated, the Berlin wall's demise, and the turn of a century from "19" to "20". But NEVER have I experienced a moment in history like this one.
Last night's weather forecast: "High Clouds Clearing Tomorrow."
Perhaps the Hawaiian way has rubbed off on me, but I can read messages in those skies:
Yes. The shadow will be off of our high places soon. The sun seems to be rising.
We know that trauma lives on in the body and the mind, and that it can span generations ("The sins of the father"). Today the brow of every American of color is smoother. The conscience of every European-American is lighter. My bi-racial nephew will grow up in a changed world. Dr. King did not live to get here with us, but WE AS A PEOPLE are entering a promised land. A land where the great ideals of America are a little more tangible. Where we listen to each other "especially when we disagree." Where the 'heavy lifting' can begin.
"Free at last, Free at last. Thank God almighty we're free at last."
Today my flag is wholly sweet to me again; once more it represents values higher than torture, and endless war. It belongs to me as a citizen, representing my fondest ideals and aspirations again. New solutions are at hand and we are all a part of them.
This morning George W. Bush made a gracious, articulate speech that I listened to without rising blood pressure. It was addressed to me, to all of us as one people.
English drinking song during the American Revolution: "The world turned upside down."
An age of Miracles has begun! A L O H A! Cloudia