The folks at Obama’s transition team have put out a call for folks to share their stories and their visions about America, by way of finding out what the American people are thinking about and what they are hoping for.
OK, I’ll take them up on that ;*) – here’s my “vision” statement:
My vision involves a country that embodies the key Green ideals of ecology, community, democracy, and nonviolence… A country that is at once both diverse and unified – “unified without uniformity, diverse but not divided”… A country that understands that the flip side of “E Pluribus Unum” is “Plures in Uno” – within the one, there are still many. This country would be a “community of communities,” wherein the different communities that we each inhabit can coexist with mutual respect, understanding, and support.
Such a country would possess a true multiparty democracy, where many political viewpoints are well-represented and able to interact in productive ways to solve the problems we face as communities and as a nation, and where all citizens feel that they have worthwhile and meaningful roles to play in the workings of their government.
Such a nation would have transcended outmoded economic notions, incorporated a sense ecological and social responsibility deeply into its business models, and found ways to generate prosperity without causing harm to the planet or to its fellow inhabitants. The citizens of this nation would understand in their bones the concept of “ENOUGH” – that there is such a thing as sufficiency, that all people deserve and have a right to achieve it, and that it cannot be achieved if some small portion of us keeps constantly insisting instead on “MORE.” Such a nation would pursue sustainability, and eliminate economic injustices, while enabling and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of its citizens.
Such a nation would be a leader in forging a true international peace and eliminating the root causes of war and conflict, while still possessing the capability to interrupt and intervene in conflicts when appropriate. Such a nation would use force, only if truly needed, skillfully and proportionately to serve and protect the populace, not just “killing people and breaking things” as an end in itself, or to pursue short-sighted economic advantages. Such a nation would never consider the notion of pre-emptive warfare, or see such action as either necessary or desirable. Such a nation would know how and when to protect innocent lives, whether caught by natural disasters or manmade catastrophes, and possess both the means and the spirit to do so.
In such a nation, education would be a lifelong pursuit of all citizens. Those citizens would understand the mechanisms of American democracy, and possess the knowledge and awareness needed for meaningful participation in that system. They would understand that rights convey responsibilities, defend the rights of their fellow citizens, and fulfill their own responsibilities as well. Furthermore, they would understand their place in the world, both proud of their forebears’ contributions and mindful of their mistakes… not only teaching, but also listening to and learning from those from other countries and other cultures.
The country that I would see America become, in short, is one of ever-increasing verdancy, becoming greener and greener – one that interacts with its worldwide environment in a way that enriches and benefits not only its own inhabitants but those of the entire planet.