Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe: Mourning in America

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Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

Mourning in America

Friday, July 8, 2016

This morning I am, like so many others,  heartbroken. For the lives lost. For the families whose empty places will never be filled. Mostly, though, I am heartbroken for America.

America, which can only be "great" if its promise as the land of opportunity is there for all its people.

Years ago I had the honor of working with the late Jonathan Mann on a project to encourage college students to become human rights advocates. His message was that, though there are many important actions to be taken, what underlies them all, what makes you an advocate for human rights is acknowledging every human being’s right to respect and dignity. 

I’ve been thinking about that message lately, and especially this morning, just days past the celebration of our country's beginnings, when we’re focused, through the political campaign, on emphasizing differences, seeing people as “Other” instead of seeing commonality, beginning with respect for the dignity of each person..


In his brilliant musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda has the dying Hamilton sing, “America, you great unfinished symphony.” The next movement will depend on how we see each other.

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