AMY MARTIN, Executive Director, Earth Rhythms; Writer/editor, Moonlady Media
The United States already has a common creed: “E pluribus unum” – “Out of the many, one.” The inaugural speech was a fugue of “E pluribus unum.” It was our de facto motto until “In God we trust” was made our official one during the Cold War. Let’s take “E pluribus unum” back. It is active, empowered, and describes the nation’s highest aspirations.
“E pluribus unum” acknowledges the individual, while stressing that strength comes from cooperation. From our many races and ages, our varied regions, our plethora of religions and lack of religions, our genders and sexual inclinations, our philosophies and politics, we are each of us human, equal in the eyes of the law and the divine, sharing this land we call the United States of America.
Forging this creed means growing beyond a prevailing love of extremes and winning at all costs. Instead we could work with the forces of nature, not against them, and seek homeostasis, defined in biology as “a relatively stable state of equilibrium between the different but interdependent elements.” Democracy is uniquely suited to such a process and America is destined to show the world how it’s done.
Throughout his inaugural address today, President Barack Obama emphasized our common creed, we the people and taking action together. In short, his speech was heavy on the communal aspects of our work as Americans.
His address contrasts with the individualism you often hear from Republicans. They regularly emphasize enterprenurialism, personal initiative and the power of local communities.
So, here is the question I would like you to consider:
What is America’s common creed and how do we forge it together?