AmIJonah
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AmIJonah

Our Mutual Cares, Labors, and Dangers

Music moves our soul in ways that words can not. Music that tells our history can share wisdom that shall not be denied.

Whether you be happy, frustrated, or exhausted with the campaign and elections that have taken place, I would really love for you to take a moment and enjoy a bit of the incredible talent of Lin-Manuel Miranda and what he created in the Hamilton musical. While the whole thing is incredible, there is a passage in the second act that is breathtaking. I listened to it today while my dog was taking me on a walk — and I am not exaggerating when I said that it brought me to tears.

George Washington’s Farewell Address has many lessons for our nation even today — the dangers of ripping ourselves into factions, the importance of our unity, and reasons why our government can not be a cult of single personality. But the address (and Lin-Manuel’s libretto) closes with this passage:

“I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government — ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers.”

Our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

Tomorrow, if you will, look at every person you see and know that they are a fellow human being and a fellow American. No matter if they be richer or poorer, darker or lighter, younger or older — we have our mutual cares, labor, and dangers.

There are fellow human beings who say that they feel like their lives don’t matter. There are business owners who are doing everything they can to keep above water and their employees paid. There are officers and first responders who need our support, even as they put our safety above their own. We want to educate all children and show them the all the greatness and possibilities of this land. And by goodness — we’ve got a pandemic that needs its ass kicked in a serious way.

For every issue listed above (and the myriad of other challenges we face as a society), there certainly are conservative answers as well as progressive ideas. We should share what we believe, listen to others, disagree, confer — and find what becomes the “benign influence of good laws under a free government”.

I can’t write as well as George Washington, and I certainly can’t create beauty like Miranda — so let me just try to wrap my own message up in my simple prose.

Let’s cut out the partisan shit and all our self-conferred righteousness. Grab a hand, and let’s walk together in and toward a more perfect Union.

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