LETTERS: America coming of ageTo the Telegram: This holiday season, I truly believe our country is approaching a social maturity the likes of which we have not seen.
To the Telegram:
This holiday season, I truly believe our country is approaching a social maturity the likes of which we have not seen. For decades, our political discourse has been vitriolic. I think it will soon change, because the issues we have on our plate require us to make some moral decisions in our society: on the economy, environment, education, and entitlements.
Fortunately, we have elected a president committed to communication and dialogue with respect and conviction. His leadership moves us forward, in my opinion.
In 1977, I wrote a letter to the Telegram saying I was attending the inauguration of the Carter/Mondale administration in Washington D.C. with friends from the Douglas County Democratic Party with whom I had worked on the campaign. It was an awesome event, and many would agree the Nobel Peace Prize-winning and very accomplished Jimmy Carter has been a wise statesman since his elevation to the presidency of the United States of America. His work as a peacemaker has promoted democracy throughout the world and inspired volunteers in our own country.
In 2013, I will be attending a second inauguration in Washington D.C., to honor another Nobel Peace Prize winner: Barack Obama, a man I spent about 15 minutes in conversation with in the spring of 2005 on a sidewalk in Hyde Park in Chicago, not far from his house. Our talk addressed the challenges of leadership in our generation and the role of government in people’s lives. Looking back, I feel inspired and excited to have met him and now witness this historic event on Jan. 21, which happens to be the same day we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Friends, we all need to take a deep breath and just think about the significance of that. Myself, I humbly rejoice. In Superior, my grandfather and I sat for many days in the 1960s watching the CBS News with Walter Cronkite document the discord over civil rights. As a student in the 1980s, I interviewed Father Ted Hesburgh, CSC, president of the University of Notre Dame, who served on the Civil Rights Commission. In our three hour talk, we spoke of the possibility of harmony and wisdom becoming real in our lifetimes.
Peacemaking is a vision and a process. Just look at how far our nation has come. Seriously, just look at that.
We all have our journey in life. We all have our hopes for our country and our fellow citizens. We all have our dreams for our families, our church, and our world. But each of us only has one life, one heart, one soul, one character, one chance at doing things that really matter. You just have to make choices with the blessings you have been given. Life, like history, doesn’t wait for you or me, or anyone. I encourage you to believe in the goodness of it.