Forming a New Dream for a New Age
D.H. Lawrence wrote, “It is very much easier to shatter prison bars than to open undiscovered doors to life.” But that is exactly what my generation’s grandchildren must do: open the doors we haven’t yet discovered by starting from where they are rather than where we have been. Continue reading “Forming a New Dream for a New Age: A Note to Our Grandchildren”
“Travel rearranges cultural furniture and wallops ethno-centric self- assurance.” Rick Steves, Travel as a Political Act
It has been my privilege to have my cultural furniture rearranged several times since 1995. I’ve been immersed in different traditions and have in engaged conversations with a variety of extraordinary people: from England, Ireland, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Belgium… to Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Israel/Palestine, Japan, Korea, India and Ecuador. Continue reading “Travel as a Political Act”
This Land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island, from the redwood forests to the gulf stream waters, this land was made for you and me. ~ Woody Guthrie, 1940
The America that Guthrie presented in his first verse is a grand and breath-taking land of towering forests and soaring mountains, fertile plains and flowing rivers, mysterious deserts and verdant valleys. It is flanked by vast resource-rich oceans and it is dappled with lakes and wetlands.
Over the centuries we’ve added magnificent cities, irrigated and tilled fertile croplands, constructed interstate highways and explored outer space. Best of all, America is blessed by an inexhaustible and ingenious resource: her people. Continue reading “Rediscovering America”
As I look back over my 73 years of life I see many highlights, some significant stumbles and very few regrets. Looking forward into the future I have one haunting fear: the state of the nation that my generation bequeaths to our grandchildren might be one of a country in decline.
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe that America is a great nation. Physically, it is vast in size and resources, stretching between two oceans and touching on five Great Lakes that hold 21% of the earth’s surface fresh water; it is studded with magnificent mountain ranges, from the Rockies in the west to the Appalachians in the east and crisscrossed by 3.5 million miles of rivers. There are five large deserts in the west and lush croplands stretching from coast to coast. Without a doubt, its breadth of diversity knows no equal. Continue reading “Looking Back, Again”
The states and the people of America are no longer “united”. The country that pledged to be “one nation, indivisible” has become a polarized morass of contentious factions and competing interest groups.
Opposing sides have hardened into ideological opposites with seemingly disparate motives and goals. Rigid loyalty to a particular ideology (deeply ingrained on the political right and growing on the left) trumps the vision of the nation’s founders, a vision of a “more perfect union” formed to ensure the general welfare of the people. Continue reading “The State of American Politics, 2017”