Five American Gentlemen

I love my country, but I am not very political.  I honor our democracy and the democratic process, but I have no particular party affiliation.  I vote regularly but as an independent, picking and choosing among all candidates regardless of their redness or blueness.  I am often astounded by the actions or inactions of the government in Washington (or in Texas), but I experience it as an observer, preferring not to jump into the fray, or even the conversation.

My preference to be an observer in life has strengthened over time based on two things:  age/life experience, and the development of my own individual spiritual understanding of how the Universe works. I have come to believe absolutely that whatever we are experiencing on earth at any given moment is exactly what we are meant to be experiencing, it is part of our schooling and our evolution as humans. It is not random. We are meant to learn from both the highest moments and from the deepest tragedies.  In the high moments we see our possibilities, but it is in the tragedies we find our best most selfless and compassionate selves.  Every experience, whether deemed good or bad, boosts us just a little higher toward our Divine potential.  I always remember this:  Everything is in Divine Order.  It gets me through a lot!

But I digress.  I was talking about politics, sort of.

This morning a little bit of politics came almost to my door.  Well, within a few miles.  It was the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of SMU in Dallas.  You probably heard about it.  We were warned for days about the presence of high security and traffic problems due to street closures and such.  It seemed wise just to stay in the house and watch it all on TV rather than try to go anywhere today.  So we did.

There was sunshine and distinguished guests and pomp and circumstance and ceremony and speeches and flags and Armed Forces musicians.

Remarkably, there were five presidents in attendance, five men, each of whom led, or is leading, our country according to his best ability and understanding. Each one had his First Lady beside him; I salute you, Ladies, for your endurance and your sacrifice for country.  I lived, as an adult, through each of these presidencies.  I have memories, as do all Americans, of the good moments and the not so good.  But here we all are, still standing.

It was a wonderfully civil, pleasant, and respectful coming together.  Each Ex spoke of and to the others with genuine affection, born I think from having held a unique position that only those other few can truly understand.  Politics, old grudges, blame, rivalries, bitterness, regrets–not present.  Again, it was all pleasantries, affection, sincerity (yes, I do believe that), and humor.  Plenty of gentle humor and expressions of love.  It might have been exactly what the country needed at exactly this moment.

As always, the patriotic pageantry choked me up a bit, and I am pleased that I can still respond in this way, for it reminds me that I am emotionally connected, even though my country sometimes disappoints me in its dealings with the wider world.  I am reminded that my heart belongs to America, imperfect as she is.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 4:15 pm and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Five American Gentlemen”

  1. Martha Bailey on June 15th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I felt exactly the same way. I was so pleased that they were so pleasant to each other and seemed to get along so well all together. It was a wonderful ceremony.