Recently, on several occasions, I have found myself coming to tears and something even deeper than tears in the strangest situations.
These situations always seem to have something to do with these United States of America and what they were meant to be.
You see, down deep I am a conservative and a progressive. I am a conservative because I so passionately believe in what this country is meant to be that I am brought to tears when we are reminded – in whatever way – that we are an experiment. We do not come out of a model of royalty, czarism, elitism, or hierarchy. This is what our founders were trying to get away from.
We do not come out of a model of materialism and the have and have-nots. This is what our founders, inspirited by the native cultures of this land, were trying to leave behind.
This experiment was one of all people being equal and being equally guaranteed of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This promise did not guarantee these privileges to a few, it guaranteed them to everyone.
These ideas are conservative to the founding of this great country. They were inherent in the people who welcomed the strangers. And the blood, sweat and tears of those who were here and those who came later are mingled in the soil, plants and rocks of this land.
These ideals are our foundations.
I am a progressive in that I believe and have seen repeatedly that we human beings and this nation are just not there yet. We would like to be and we are not. Some of us realize that we are not yet others want to static our progression – in their image.
Yet, a true progressive knows that we are not there yet while at the same time realizing that that there is a possibility, a belief – even a KNOWING – that we, if we remember who and what we are and why we came together, we might just get there. Or, make progress in that direction.
I so love and am so deeply moved when I see any movement in that direction, that the tears just flow. This experience seems to be happening more and more.
When I saw Hamilton, I was so touched that I dared not speak or the tears and howls deep inside me would have overwhelmed me and everyone around me.
I was so proud of our struggle not to be a colony and the need to find our own way.
It was the process of becoming a nation that touched me. I am not a great fan of Hamilton’s focus on money and the founding of the Federal Bank – a necessary growing pain, I guess. Yet, I was deeply touched with the history of our struggles to become who we can be and grateful that our ancestors who were here and those who came participated in that struggle. (You would be amazed how many people have native Indian blood, unbeknownst to them. I think of it as our ancestors “seeding” the consciousness of a nation.)
I was moved to tears when on AMJoy Saturday, two radio commentators both succinctly and eloquently spoke truth to power about the issues of our day. I had been hearing and seeing so much “garbage” on TV lately that it was a joy to hear two men who shared our conservative values as a nation speak progressively as commentators. My tears were such that I did not get their names. And, I so much loved what they had to say.
And lastly, I watched carefully and silently as I, from my home, participated in the opening ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I said nothing as the cleansing tears streamed down my face. My tears were my participation. I saw the ideals on which this country was founded being spoken, understood, and accomplished during that ceremony. I, a Native American, Irish, English American, was watching with three dear friends. An Aussie who had “won the lottery” and been given the offer of citizenship here, a visiting friend from New Zealand who silently wept with me throughout the ceremony, and Pete, a Jewish American whose ancestors were persecuted in Russia.
Those watching and those participating had an opportunity to share moments in which, for a brief moment, no one was trying to colonize our minds. When we weep together, our tears cleanse.
We all were speaking Truth to Justice in our participation.