America The Beautiful

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Over the past few weeks of political ridiculousness topped off with the S&P downgrade, one would not look at America and say “What an inspiring country”. I sure haven’t been feeling that way myself, but today I was reminded of just how inspiring this country I live in can still prove to be despite the people leading it.

Today I visited Pikes Peak just a few miles west of Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is not the tallest 14er in Colorado, but it’s probably the most famous. It’s where, over a hundred years ago, Katherine Lee Bates, a teacher from Wellesley College stood and became inspired to write the poem, America The Beautiful. After returning from the summit, she remarked to friends that countries such as England had failed because, while they may have been “great”, they had not been “good” and that “unless we are willing to crown our greatness with goodness, and our bounty with brotherhood, our beloved America may go the same way.”

That sentiment may sound familiar: “and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea”. Some of our politicians could benefit from visiting and pondering the same perspective I enjoyed today of our country and the potential for greatness it still has if we could just get our act together.

I would gladly pay the $34 roundtrip for all of our Congressmen to fill the train to the top. I’d even throw in a few oxygen tanks to aid dialogue in the thin air.

At times the Congressmen might feel like they can’t see where they’re heading, that they might run straight off the edge of the mountain into nothingness.But the tracks built long before will hold them and before they know it, they’ll be staring out at the same view I saw today of a beautiful country with limitless potential for not just greatness but goodness and brotherhood.

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