Please forgive us.
We’ve been as unconscious as it gets, as distracted as it gets. We have not concerned ourselves or taken seriously enough some profoundly significant things. Like responsible citizenship.
I’m sorry we’ve been too busy, too stressed out, and exhausted from running on empty to have the energy to think about important things until it’s too late. The truth is, you weren’t our priority. We’ve lacked some serious depth. Been living at the level of superficiality, where drama and chaos dance. And we are paying the price. Because in the absence of that depth, in the absence of that concern and vigilance to weed what should not thrive, we have been taken over from within. The weeds of the individual and collective narcissism we have engaged in have taken over the garden while we’ve been taking selfies.
I’m sorry we’ve refused to see ourselves as the victimizer time and time again. Both internally and externally around the world. And so we have refused to see, when we become the victim, that the victim always contains the victimizer. And so we blame. Them. All the thems. This them, that them, everyone a them them. Never seeing the rock bottom truth that led us to this rock bottom place – that we are the them too. We all played a part in landing in this cold, hard reality.
I’m sorry to our children and the future of this country and the planet we are leaving them and to whom we have given no basis for confidence right now that we have got things under control. Too many of us women have been acting like girls, too many men acting like boys. Being a grown up means taking responsibility for our part in the small patch of the garden we have been given because in many cases, it isn’t so much what they have done but sadly, what we did not do. Being a grown up isn’t always easy or convenient.
I’m sorry too many of us have not been stand-up citizens. Standing up for what we believe to be true and just. To paraphrase Marianne Williamson, we have not taken a stand for love the way those who hate have taken a stand for hate. Or as Edmund Burke said, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Being loving doesn’t mean being a doormat.
I’m sorry that we teach so little about civics to our children in school and at home about how this country was born and the ideals that led to its birth. That they know so little about our founders, those genius of men, who scripted the first document ever on this Earth that bestowed the rights of the individual soul before the body. Who were inspired by the thought that a place could exist where all of humanity could have the chance to create the possibility of equal self-esteem. This was and still is a radical idea. This was and still is the genius of America.
The Bill of Rights has always been the seed of global self-esteem. And although we never truly manifest the principles of which we purport to stand, starting with our founders (who were well aware of their hypocrisy), generation after generation has seen the contradiction in our way of life versus that vision and has worked to make us a more perfect union in which those ideals are accessible to everyone in truer way.
I’m sorry that vision is on life support now. And it will require each and every one of us to breathe new life into it or it will surely die right before our well-intentioned but blind eyes while we held our breath. We’ve been complacent and lazy. Indifferent or apathetic. Sitting on the sidelines yelling at the players instead of participating in the game. High on ideals but slow to action. Freedom needs oversight and it needs participation.
I’m sorry to our beautiful adopting mother who stands proudly in the harbor looking out unto the world, a shining beacon of freedom, a symbol without parallel anywhere on the planet, welcoming the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shores. My dear lady, we’ve let you down. Too often we say your golden door, the passage to the American Dream, is only open for a certain few. Who mostly look like you.
I’m sorry we’ve stripped your fruited plains and polluted your spacious skies from sea to shining sea driven in the search of More! More! energy sources to fuel our big, unnecessary SUV’s, tv’s, mansion size houses and mansion sized lifestyles. More! money. More! food than we can eat. Should eat. More! corporate dominance and greed. More! systemic royalist economic injustice that allows so many so little in the guise of being allowed so much. More! of the same aristocratic archetype we keep recreating over and over again.
I’m sorry for our biggest sin, our original sin, our collective wrong. For the near extermination of one race of people to the enslavement of another. This goes deep and it still hurts. We all carry the wounds and sins of our ancestors as surely as we carry their DNA. We’ve tried to make amends. We have created policies and enacted laws to eliminate the seeds we’ve sowed but it’s hard to eradicate a dandelion in your garden if you don’t see it and then once you do, don’t pull it out from its roots. It will keep growing and resurfacing time and time again spreading its seeds and eventually will be the ruination of the most beautiful of gardens.
I’m sorry that we have become a people who look down and not up, up, up into the faces of our fellow brothers and sisters and ask, How are you doing today? Into the vast and open sky and say Wow! and Thank You enough to all the beauty that surrounds us. I’m sorry we don’t ask as JFK did, what can I give to my country? more often than we ask, what can my country give to me?
I’m sorry we have been strong on negativity and soft on positivity. That we’ve enabled toxicity to permeate our culture and poison our institutions, not to mention our water. We have blurred the lines between entertainment and real life, fleeting pleasure and lasting joy, free speech and common decency yet sadly still see with Windex clarity the lines that separate us. For it is only in the spaces in-between that we will be reminded of what was planted in us when we arrived-that at the place of our deepest suffering, in the release of our deepest fears, and in the peace of our deepest joys-we are each other. That I am, because you are and you are, because I am.
I know there is so much more atonement to be done. Our cruelty to the animals we share this planet with for cheap meat, the billions of pounds of food that gets thrown away each year when many are starving, the choice to enter unnecessary wars in the name of democracy…. I am not blind to our country’s darkness. But even from its shadows, I refuse not to see its deep desire and destiny to reassert its impulse to grow towards the light and to our enlightened ideals of a more perfect union within so that it spreads its seed to the world throughout. So more than anything else, America, I want to say,
Thank you for being the seed that allows us to wake up each morning in this mystical land, saturated with light, founded on the fullness of what humanity could be and give us the opportunity to transcend the lower aspects of ourselves and try again and again. Forever. America is forever tries.
Humbly yours, maeve