My eyes filled with tears thinking about the many miracles that had to transpire to make this moment possible: a young nation imperfectly fighting its way toward a more perfect union, expanding circles of freedom, a deep commitment to religious liberty and diversity.
From his widely acclaimed accomplishments, we all can be inspired to a greater participation in and contribution to the world around us. But along with all of that, there are three inspiring features to be found in the more basic information and experiences of this great man's magnanimous life.
I know I did not start my business so I could get more laundry done. I started my business so I could turn my passion into income helping other working moms make more money and live a healthy, more balanced life.
What haunts me most is not the countless studies that document the inhumane treatment of animals or the research by the Environmental Working Group that established that each ounce of turkey consumed has the carbon footprint of driving a mile in a car.
No matter where each of us stands on the key issues of the day, it is time for all of us to widen the debate on freedom in America. We need to move from a focus on negative freedoms to a focus on positive ones. We need to distinguish sharply between liberty and license.
A direct democracy on a global scale is not yet feasible. An interim option is what I name a direct republic: An elected representative body writes the new laws for final ratification by direct votes of the people. A direct republic can work locally, nationally and globally.
Our families are where we first learn how to say "No" in a safe, supportive environment. If we don't learn to do so there, we won't learn to do so anywhere. If our children can't say "No" to us, they won't say it to anyone.
You wear the shackles for a journey that seems to stretch on and on. From the coast of Africa, the slave ship travels to the Americas. On the way to Philadelphia, you may stop and stay in the West Indies to be beaten and "broken."
Last month, at the age of 71, after 41 years in solitary confinement, and less than three days of freedom, Herman Wallace died of cancer in Louisiana. He once asked me: "Why would you be my friend? Are you forgetting that I don't believe in God?"
I quickly checked myself before showing that I was alarmed by her reaction, and continued to smile. I imagined that I was the first black person that she had ever seen, and wanted my encounter with her to be a positive one.
You may be distracted by the buzz of the city traffic as you walk along Center City Philadelphia's Market Street. It's easy to walk by the historic marker in front of you when you turn onto Front Street. But this marker is worth seeing.