“Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— / Let it be that great strong land of love / Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme / That any man be crushed by one above.”Langston Hughes from “Let America Be America Again”
I miss an America where we live into our dreams. An America that sets its aspirations high.
We have a chance tomorrow to take the first steps in what will be a very long journey to return to the pathway where so many American dreams reside.
We can take those steps toward a place and time where we talk once again about community, sharing, and fairness, instead of falling back on the language of wanting, winning, or simply taking. To an America where there is:
- Belief in the common good.
- Commitment to the well-being of the community that is every bit as strong as the commitment to our individual prosperity.
- Decency shown to everyone, whether they look like us or not.
- Generosity, given out of our abundance.
We can take those steps toward a place and time where belief in our abilities to achieve a noble common purpose, based on all we’ve accomplished in the past, defeats the fears that turn hate into loathing. To an America where there is:
- Courage to face the unknown rather than succumbing to the fear that seeks shelter in the authoritarian lie.
- Fortitude to face reality.
- Imagination for a brighter future, and the resourcefulness to get there.
- Seriousness of purpose combined with a joyfulness in living.
We can take those steps toward a place and time where civility is again seen as a virtue and boorishness is seen as the selfishness it is. To an America where there is:
- Empathy for those who lack all the blessings we’ve received.
- Leadership that makes us proud, from the highest office in the land on down.
- Respect for those who have different points of view.
- Sincerity so that we say what we mean and mean what we say.
We can take those steps toward a place and time where justice, equality, and love are again seen as cornerstones of our life together, reinforcing and supporting each other rather than setting up corporations, oligarchs, and unfettered capitalism as the sole beneficiaries of our system of government. To an America where there is:
- Eagerness to worship — or not to worship — as we please, and a humbleness and goodwill to allow others to do the same.
- Equality for all, and equity so that everyone gets what they need.
- Respect for justice and the rule of law.
- Love for people above love for money and power.
We can take those steps along a pathway that looks back with a sense of accomplishment, looks at the present with a recognition of all that has been left undone, and looks forward with a burning passion for a brighter future. To an America where there is:
- Understanding and honor for the history that really happened, not a celebration of a false history we’ve created.
- Care for the earth we pass along to our children and our children’s children.
- Belief that we accomplish more when we work together.
- A common North Star, with Truth and Love as our guiding values.
As a country, we have never fully realized these qualities. But when we are at our best, we have aspired to every one of them. America at this moment in time is lost. But it is not beyond redemption. Just like an individual, a country can let the best of itself slip away. However, we can seek to return to a country of aspirations instead of fear. We can do the hard work to learn from our dangerous detours into fascism and hate. We can do much, much better.
We can once again believe in an America built upon the dreams the dreamers dreamed.
I believe in that vision of America. An America where this land was made for you and me.
Let’s make it happen.
More to come…