Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Friday, July 2, 2010

independence and interdependence

Growing up right outside of Boston, my childhood was steeped in American history. I attended the Revere School. A bell forged at Paul Revere's foundry hangs in the bellfry of the church I grew up in. With Lexington and Concord just a bit north of us, we knew about "the shot heard round the world".

And this morning, as I sipped my morning cup of tea, gazing out at the view here in Vermont, I was thinking of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys.  And listening to The Declaration of Independence read aloud on NPR.

The Bill of Rights and Constitution are two mighty fine documents, put together by very bright and thoughtful people. People with big and courageous dreams. They created a new nation and a new governmental framework, filled with hope.

Sometimes I wonder what has happened to all that.

While we celebrate this 4th of July, I wonder how we can move forward without co-operation, bi-partisanship and interdependence in Washington, D.C.

It's easy to get exasperated and discouraged, eh?

But that's when I sometimes hear Sweet Honey in the Rock's amazing voices, (inspired by June Jordan's poem) calling me back to reality..."We are the ones, we are the ones, we've been waiting for...".

Sure, some of those folks in D.C. have the big power, but all of us have power, too. Power to do what we can in our families, our friendships and our communities to create positive change in our own small part of the world. And our small part of the world sits next to another small part of the world and so on. We really are all connected, and interdependent.

My head is filled this weekend with thoughts of the courage, vision and hope of the New England revolutionaries of the 1700's. And I wonder how we will shape the future of our neighborhoods, our nation and the world. Will compassion and non-violence and interdependence help us find the answers, once and for all? Isn't it worth a try?

(Check out this very cool interview on VPR about the book Authentic Patriotism.  It's inspiring.)


  1. Washington is overwhelming for me, too, Karen. I take heart that Adam, and others like him, still have the desire to work there to create an even better place. I don't say I'm proud to be an American, but I do often say I'm grateful to be one - both for the blessings and the opportunities that our power gives us to work for good. Happy 4th, friend.

  2. Much to think about, Karen. Thanks for an insightful and thoughtful take on a holiday many take for granted.

  3. The scale of problems sometimes (often) seems overwhelming, but if we work on improving our own small parts of the world, surely those can join together to help heal the rest of the world. Thank you for your thoughtful post!