This past month we celebrated and focused on the Constitution of the United States. I wanted to discuss what triggered that document’s creation. At that time most countries were ruled by a monarchy. One person making all the decisions, one opinion that decided the fate of thousands without their input. Then came the Declaration of Independence that was unique, the ground breaking idea “ we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” With these words individual men and women declared they could govern themselves, they had that right and the capacity to do it.
They would begin to make that possible after a bloody war was fought and they gathered to create a government that would protect the right of the individual to govern themselves, while recognizing the need for people to work together on broader issues that affected the larger community. The process was messy, people with different ideas on how to govern came together for almost four months. They debated, argued, and discussed how to best accomplish government of the people by the people. And in the end, nobody got everything they wanted. A spirit of collaboration and unity would create the Constitution that they could all get behind and support. That Constitution would become the backbone document that many other countries, states, and many city governments are modeled after.
I have seen and been a part of this process in our city government. We have not always agreed on a subject, at times we have pushed our points passionately, but in the end, we have come together for the good of our residents. The coming year begins a great political debate in our country, let us remember the example of our founding fathers that we do not need to always get our way. We can listen to the ideas and views of others. Perhaps, we can learn a different perspective, and in the end, come to a more perfect solution that we can unite behind.
We do not need to give into personal slander, one liner attacks, or non-truthful statements. Regardless of our political affiliations and ideas that may divide us, we can all agree that this is a great country. Working together we can preserve its greatness. Realizing that united we stand and divided we fall. Let us be united in respect for each other, and accept that we can agree to disagree, but not have to be disagreeable. We are after all neighbors and friends with the same goal in mind, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.