“In crucial things, unity,
In important things, diversity,
In all things, generosity.” . . . George H. W. Bush
They stood side-by-side. Two Republicans, three Democrats. Four White, one Black. Five diverse living presidents coming to honor one of their own for the last time. They were dignified, they were gracious, they were statesmanly. It was the end of a life that coincided with the end of a year: 2018.
My imaginary camera lens captured that moment and the message it imparted. It was an idealized moment. Although their politics were not necessarily in agreement, these five men gave us an instant of unity within diversity—an idealized snapshot of America. What would it take to bring that essence into the New Year, 2019? What would it take for our citizens to strive for the ideal depicted in that camera shot?
I am not so naive to expect us to reach the perfection implied in that split second captured on film. The five men are imperfect. We as citizens are imperfect. But we are each free to choose the image of excellence that causes us to strive for the best within ourselves
Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump stood together with a commonality of purpose: honoring one of their own. What would it take for us as a nation to find more commonality of purpose and to come together with our differences, expressing dignity, empathy and cooperation?
“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.” . . . George H. W. Bush
written by Amy Bryant, Safety Harbor resident blogger
Author of You Can Go Home Again