Hear the words that explain. Hear the words that tell us the government’s job is serve, to have compassion for all its citizens. Hear the words that state “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” That government, which derives its powers “from the consent of the governed,” is a direct reflection of its citizens and “holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” and their rights include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It’s all there, but more than read the words, we must listen.
We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America. (Constitution of the United States, 1787)
Two overlooked, yet important, words in the Preamble are “more perfect.” None of us are perfect, yet it’s our striving for perfection that makes us better human beings. Government, as a reflection of its citizens, is no different.To improve we exercise, diet, pray, meditate, or commune with nature. We listen to our bodies, doctors, supreme being, and hearts. We seek greater understanding and increased compassion. Our government should be no different. Thus, over time, we’ve amended the document that is our government’s heart, soul, and mind, especially as it pertains to civil rights.
As we’ve evolved we’ve added to our Constitution to include those disenfranchised. Yet, some voices remain unheard, voices who should share equally in a country run by “the people.” One person, one vote.
It pains me there are those who claim not to hear. How can that be? Has not everyone gone without a voice at least once in their life? Is it not then simple enough to empathize with those who’ve lived with no voice their entire lives?
I grew up in two households. In the first my mother argued with a succession of husbands while I shook in my room, my voice mute and unheard. I later traded that household for another where I’d lie awake at night waiting for the tell-tale sounds that announced my father’s drunken approach. Again, no voice. No one to listen.
Children shouldn’t suffer abuse. Little girls shouldn’t die in a church because of racial hatred. Love shouldn’t be a crime. Veterans shouldn’t return home to become the homeless. Identities shouldn’t be deemed inauthentic. An entire ethnic group shouldn’t be deemed rapists. Teenage girls shouldn’t be attacked by police sworn to serve and protect.
Our government wasn’t formed to rule, but to serve. If it isn’t serving, but instead ruling because it caters to those who buy its services, then we have ballot boxes for fixing that. One person, one vote. Our government doesn’t provide gifts, it provides what we demand, it should listen to us, for we are the rulers, we the people. You can tell if our government is listening: hear the words our leaders use. Do you hear compassion and a desire to serve all this nations’s people? Do you?