Saturday, July 4, 2009

America, the Beautiful?

The other day, when I was thinking about July 4th, the well-known song "America the Beautiful" (by Katharine Lee Bates) came to mind. I thought today would be a good time to reflect on the lyrics of the song:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain
America! America!
God shed your grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

When the emissions from our cars, our factories, our burning fuels threaten the spacious skies,
and the chemical fertilizers and pesticides threaten the amber waves of grain,
and strip mining threatens the purple mountains' majesties,
and the shining sea faces oil spills and toxic waste,
then where is the grace, the good, the brotherhood?

So, take this July 4th to reflect not only on the past and the present of the good ole US of A but, even more importantly, of its future--of the promise that awaits with the right steps forward. With the right voices, the right actions, and the right enthusiasm, progress is possible.

"Never underestimate the power of a small but committed group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead

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1 comment:

  1. Maybe I should write a post on this, but I just wanted to comment that being in New Zealand (yeahhhh, semester abroad!) has made me a bit more optimistic about our environmental future.
    All outlets have individual on/off switches, many toilets have the option of a half-flush, many lights are motion-sensored, I have not seen any paper towels (only automatic hand driers and fabric cloths that you can pull to get a clean section), and so much more. Oh, and in a plug for the USA, in the airport in California, there was recycling everywhere. It rocked. So, it's been a good last few days. And there's an actually legitimate green political party here :-D