Always remember that the Earth is your joint inheritance.
And also your sacred duty.
This is because while you are meant to be kings in your own right while living upon the Earth, you are only here temporarily. The next generation is coming behind you, and it is their Earth, too. And all the generations that follow after them.
So you are rulers of your own lives and meant to be rulers of your own private dominion, but you are also caretakers of that dominion while you are here.
This requires us to be mindful and to humble ourselves– to accept the responsibilities that go with the rights of ruler-ship.
This is the essence of self-governance, that we come to know ourselves and rule ourselves first in all things.
The journey to freedom and self-governance requires a fearlessness that is not based on contempt or desperation or ego, but which is based on knowledge of one’s self.
One of the hardest parts of the present situation is the need to educate a great many people, but even as we roll out the tools and means to do it, realizing that most Americans have been molded into good workers and good fighters, but never given the chance or time or inspiration to know themselves.
Instead, they have been told who they are, both good and bad, and relentlessly forced into cookie-cutter shapes and roles. And that, however expedient it may have been for a social structure built on war, is a great offense against nature, a profound loss and disability.
I remember as a young girl contemplating the ancient Maxims– “Know thyself.” and “Courage is the first virtue.” and “To thyself be true.” I remember thinking that these sayings were maddening and mysterious.
How am I supposed to know myself, I wondered, when I am kept on a treadmill 24/7 learning about everything else and everyone else?
I remember wondering — why is courage the first virtue? Thank goodness, I had a Father who could explain that without courage, all other virtues become negotiable.
And as for “To thyself be true.” — well, obviously, if you are stuck on the first one– “Know thyself.” —you can’t be true to what is unknown, right?
I had numerous discussions about these and similar conundrums with my parents. I didn’t know the answers—yet, but Dad assured me that I would, in good time, accrue enough experience and think deeply enough about things to discover “me”.
He smiled in his happy, secretive parental way, hand splayed over the top of my curly head, gently rocking it, light twinkling in his eyes.
I could tell he was looking forward to the day when I found me at last.
That’s how I feel now about millions upon millions of Americans who have been forced to live truncated lives. They can’t know what comes next, but they are on the road to find out, each one of them — to discover who they are at last.
I know that as the shackles drop away from them and they experience the odd sensation of taking a deep breath, many will be disoriented, and as they realize that they have been deliberately crippled and enslaved by their own employees, many will be very angry.
It may seem odd coming from someone who has studied history as long and as deeply as I have, but do not get trapped in the past and brooding about injustices and wrongs and losses. Doing so only prevents you from seizing this moment and enjoying it, only enslaves you in a different way. Don’t dwell on all the things you can’t change. Focus on today.
It’s like that Rascal Flats song — “God bless the broken road…” that brought us here today.
However difficult it has been or is or will be, there is a blessing in what we have had to learn and go through and pay.
As another popular song says, “We are diamonds taking shape….”