As human beings, it is difficult for us to grasp the concept of time. It always feels like we will have tomorrow until it is too late. We put love off for future dates, fully confident that we can spend more hours together and be more loving later; blinding ourselves to the fact that life is unpredictable and mostly out of our control.
I don't really care one way or the other whether Princeton erases Woodrow Wilson from its history - except to the extent that such an action would inevitably invite an endless array of similar claims that would both fundamentally distort the realities of our history and distract attention from the real issues of deeply-rooted injustice in our contemporary society that we need to take seriously today.
Emma Lazarus, who's proud and shinning words stand indelibly inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, would weep in sorrow and shame if she were with us today as an ever increasing number of our political "leaders" and citizens call for the United States to extinguish the flame of liberty on Middle Eastern refugees of war.
Don't get me wrong. I like Sarah Vowell. But her new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, is something of a puzzle. Vowell's funny. She's smart, quick, and clever. If you've heard her on "This American Life," you'll know she's a sound artist -- working her antic way through the great collection of words left, boxed up, in history's archives.
A weekly blog intended to share and preserve the most valued life lessons from the minds of the most experienced among us. The "hour late" represents the later stages of life. I will be speaking with people in their 70's and older, to find out what they think is important and worth passing on to future generations.
These slavery analogies betray a profound indifference to, if not ignorance of, the tragic plight of bondsmen and women. Yet Americans--from Patriots and Loyalists during the Revolution to Ben Carson today--have felt comfortable likening human bondage to high taxes, unjust laws, black enfranchisement, or, in Carson's case, national healthcare and abortion.