July 1, 2011


 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”  Out of this astounding thought a nation was born — the idea that the greatest good for the whole is the result of respecting the rights of the individual. I have touched upon this topic before, that delicate balance between who we are as individuals and who we are as citizens (Blog 6/9/211).


As we are about to celebrate July 4th, I step aside for a more eloquent voice. Walt Whitman celebrated this complex harmony over a hundred years ago:

“I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;

Those of mechanic – each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;

The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing in his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat – the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench — the hatter singing as he stands;

The wood-cutter’s song – the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;

The delicious singing of the mother – or young wife at work – or girl   sewing or washing –

Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else…

Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.”

(Walt Whitman from “Leaves of Grass,” 1900)