America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!
Brotherhood and sisterhood are not accomplished by waving a magic wand. They are hard work. It occurred to me during election season this year that we're destroying this country with our anger and hatred toward one another. I happen to believe that we have the capacity to love one another as ourselves, to forgive and to refrain from judging. It would be a cruel God that would make such commands and not give us the intellectual and spiritual capacity to obey them. This country and the world face monumental problems that have to do with our very survival. The biggest obstacle to finding solutions is our lack of understanding that relationships and community are far more important than how any particular issue is decided.
The rose was named our national flower in 1986. It represents love, beauty, joy and a giving of oneself to a higher purpose. I worked with the Quakers for over 16 years. They believe that there is that of God in everyone. Many people don't believe in God or are uncomfortable with discussing religion publicly, so saying "I see God in you," as people in India do, doesn't work in this country. I consider the attributes of God to be love, beauty, joy and a giving of oneself to a higher purpose, qualities symbolized in the rose. I can now imagine the town of Seekonk as a community of 13,722 roses in different stages of bloom, each carrying beauty, the capacity to love, the ability to live joyously and an innate desire to give for the common good. We all have thorns, yes. But we also can open into stunning blossoms. Roses can't cultivate themselves. We need to begin tending and cultivating the rose in each other.
I am a rose. You are a rose. We are a nation of roses. When we understand that we can look upon ourselves and others with more tenderness, affection and forgiveness. We can work to help others reach the fullness of bloom and become ever more beautiful ourselves in the process.
We need a revolution in values in this country, a revolution of roses. Seekonk is a great place to start.
Who's going to design and manufacture the red rose lapel pin that can be worn next to the American flag lapel pin?