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.