Again this week all races and religions jointly celebrate the anniversary of this American Nation’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain with parades, fireworks, family gatherings and any number of other formal and informal activities. It’s the prime time during which the most Americans, whether native or foreign born, join in celebration–including those of us still most adversely effected, especially the Native Americans herded onto reservations on which many still reside. This can only be “Trumped” (literally) by the current Administration’s persistence in “Building a wall to keep other “foreigners” out!
History clearly records that the economic development of this revered nation was made through its extortion of land from Native Americans and extorted labor from Blacks and other slaves. Yet this “pre-ordained” (but not predestined) model nation continues to have an odd quality about it. Below the surface of its struggle for existence, of selfishness and greed often elevated into principle, there still survives the conviction that this revered nation has an historical task to perform, that of demonstrating to the world that the brotherhood of man is not an illusion, and that justice for all is not an idle dream.
It is this dream that brought America through to her present standing in the world, championed by her public school system that guaranteed every child a public education through high school–even when separate but unequal–currently threatened by the persistent drive for “charter” (private schools) for those able to pay for them–with “scholarships for a select few–in order to meet required quotas. The main thrust is to legally transfer public funds into private schools rather than initiate a more equitable system or to explore a teacher exchange system with other international territories to teach (authentic) bilingual languages in public schools–at home and abroad!
Also of grave concern is the $-multi-billions being allocated to “education” that in too many cases is being spent on buildings rather than invested into more and better teachers and salaries!
Yet, with all of her faults and growing pains, America is a unique nation, totally unaware of her high destiny and pivotal role unique to her alone in God’s promise of World Peace–not only possible but inevitable–according to the Baha’i Holy Writings. The inordinate disparity between the rich and poor also grossly affects the world’s state of instability, being currently challenged by persistent extreme forces of nature! “Unbridled nationalism must give way to wider loyalty to mankind as a whole!
On this Fourth of July, may we declare our independence from whatever traditions, habits, thoughts, attitudes and behavioral patterns that impede our progress in fostering mutual respect for the differences in others, especially within our own home and surrounding environment. May we each, as men and nations, march to the beat of the drummer–who “leads by example and not by force!