The Call for a Constitutional Convention
The Nature of Man
Everyday we all sleep, everyday we all awake. Welcome to this day. Life is a trinity of the past, the present, and the future. While both great and terrible events may await us, everyday is greeted anew. Whether we live a life of routine, boredom, power, responsibility, frivolousness, crime, naiveté, youth, struggle, illness or hate, before we step into the routine of our daily life, there is a vague general sense that what we want lies somewhere before us in the future. Yesterday’s accomplishments are in the past, today is the work-in-progress for a realization that resides in the future.
This trinity of time is bound up in Hope, and cuts across all social and economic classes It has no boundaries of religion or country or culture, it is beyond technology and mechanization and any point in societal development. Modern man and cave man, prisoner or free, young and old, Hope is both instinct and conscious choice. Even in depression, most individuals cannot fight the sense of Hope that envelops our humanity and our lives. To be alive, is to Hope.
Much has been written regarding the nature of man. Is he good or evil? Clearly he has the capacity to choose, and history is full of both inspirational and tragic tales of individuals who have made both choices. If the nature of man can be discerned, it is that he is full of Hope. But hopeful of what?
The answer can only be Love and Peace. We awaken each day to a hopeful sense that we can both Love and Be Loved in a completeness and glory that we have never known before. Hope is not about organizing the physical world, defeating our competitors, or any type of measurable success. Hope is internal. It is a lust for more of that which feeds our spirit and comforts us. No matter how distorted ones politics, regardless of the rage in ones heart, beyond the ego, the id, and self-esteem, Love and Hope lie at the center of man’s nature.
Love and Hope also triggers the biological clock, which builds cities and societies, and motivates passions and culture and ideas. Hope is also the sense that everything we do is probably wrong, but somehow it will work out in the end. There is an undercurrent of reconciliation in Hope. A desire to forgive and forget others actions, and a desire that all our own actions will be forgiven and forgotten. If Life is a trinity of time, Hope is a break with the past. It is a revolution through progression. A repetition of everyday events, that somehow land us in a new world. A willful evolution.
Wisdom tempers Hope. It is the reluctant understanding that not all things can or will be accomplished in our lifetime. Wisdom tells us things as they are is one of many historical conditions, despite our hope for something better. Many see a utopia as a dream, and history has shown little promise for utopian hopes. Utopias seem to exist in the faraway future of poems and the lazy histories of failure. Most people see utopias at odds with the very nature of man, when he is defined as either good or evil. Too many people see utopia as something they might gain in their death.
While men are both good and evil, it is our nature of Love and Hope that defines our humanity. We all believe in a utopia, but not necessarily consciously. It is the belief in a utopia that gets us up in the morning, and with what we greet each new day. When man is defined as a vessel of Love and Hope, he can move through goodness and evilness easily. His actions are based on his wisdom and his strength, not on his nature. Utopia is not a world where everything is perfect, nor a world where every man is perfect. A utopia is a world where the Love and Hope for each individual can be realized on his own timetable, when he is ready. Utopia is not shared wealth, it is a shared consciousness that is progressively re-learned by each generation.
American Democracy is a utopian ideal. It promises Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness through free enterprise and individual freedoms as protected by the Bill of Rights.
Utopian ideals flow through all religions, but the practical implementation of a utopian society is anything but perfect. Oftentimes, the sword is used as a tool of enlightenment or to commence its inception. Peaceful utopian attempts are predicated by the congregation removing itself from the greater society, establishing a commune, and showing by example that man can have the courage to live anew. Both approaches attempt to achieve their utopias by exclusion. The former excludes non-followers, the later excludes themselves from non-followers.
Wealth, money, and the control of property often focus as both the illness and the solution for a utopian-minded reform. For America it is the right to private property, for communists it is a worker-controlled state, for smaller communes it is common property. In all cases, property or wealth is seen as the critical adjustment required to achieve a more perfect society. Even those who take a vow of poverty, like Buddhists and priests and nuns, find denying possession of material things as the sign of their enlightenment. These individuals actively pursue an utopian ideal, and their focus on Love and Hope begins with a denial for property.
This is a strange juxtaposition. America is a great experiment and a beacon of hope in the world, but at the same time its legal structure guarantees and fosters the ownership that utopian idealists find most troubling: Private property.
There has always been great concentrations of wealth in history, America is not unique. If America is a great utopian experiment, its greatness cannot be the free enterprise system, or the self-interest of entrepreneurs. America is great because it opens its arms to the everyday aspirations of humanity, to Love and to Hope. Since personal wealth is the first item rejected by utopian activists, American greatness must stem from our freedom to speak, to think, to communicate. Our willingness to reinvent ourselves is the source of our strength. Our inventiveness stems from having the ability and the time to pursue a myriad of interests. Lust for gold and self-adornment may generate pyramids, but mankind’s greatest accomplishments are neither technological nor grand, they are simple and wise, and feed our spirit with Love and Hope. The quality of a society is best measured by the quality of its philosophy. America was built on the democratic ideals practiced thousands of years ago, and thrives from the growing maturity of that wisdom.
Love and Hope are not political dogmas, intellectual choices, strategic positions or material goods. Love and Hope are emotions. They are our humanity. It is shared equally with the strong and frail, young and old, rich and poor, creative and ignorant, moral and immoral.
Americans of today have a challenge left to us from the founders of the country, and by the other great leaders that followed them. In most cases, Americans have no blood link to these American ancestors. We are a nation of immigrants, attracted to these shores by the same yearnings of our humanity. It is our collective responsibility and duty to continue this brave experiment, to match the forces of hate and ignorance with the forces of wisdom and patience, to vigorously protect and seek the utopian ideal.