I’m looking for a ride to take me where I need to go. I’m looking for the freedom train. I know it’s there. I’ve seen it before. I’m going to find it again. I’m going to take that ride. I’m going to get where I need to go.
Deep down inside I know the truth about America and so do you. Democracy is fundamentally stewardship in action. Being a good steward means that we take care of things. Money, cars, houses, jobs, careers, land, gardens and parks; every single thing that we can’t take to our deaths, we don’t really own. We just take care of things while we’re here. We’re here on borrowed time and everything that is in our lives is borrowed too.
Being a good steward also means we take care of each other. We know it’s not okay to hurt someone because of their color or their god or whether they came to this country last week or a fortnight ago. We have experienced civil war, killings in the street, tyrannical leaders, unfair laws, and economic stranglehold. We have been made to fight in wars and to bear burdens that were not of our own making. Still, we always circle back to this grand notion of democracy. And we look for that freedom train.
If we believe in democracy, and I think we do, then we see that we have no choice but to be wildly at odds with tyranny, unfairness, cruelty, corruption, ignorance, complacency, and the unwillingness to think deeply or compassionately. We have no choice but to stick up for anyone who is unfairly treated. We are a compassionate people. We heal the sick, uplift the wounded and carry the weak to higher ground. We look out for one another. Brown, black, white, red, white or blue, we’ve got your back.
Being a good steward also means we take care of the earth. We pick up litter and keep our streets clean. We tend to our trees, gardens and crops, and look at the big picture of how our natural resources are being used and what we can do to ensure that those resources will be there for the children of tomorrow.
Democracy is more than an idea or a noble experiment. Democracy is an unfinished project that requires a lifetime of work, in my lifetime, my children’s lifetime, in our children’s lifetime and in all of their children’s lifetimes.
Sometimes, I see little children holding onto a walking rope to keep them together while they are being led to the park. This walking rope is my freedom train. That’s where I want to be. I experience joy in seeing their small faces, clean and shining, with their hair catching light in the sun, and laughing the way only children do. My freedom train comes in many colors of hair and skin. And frankly I don’t care about their gods or when they came to America. We should only want to protect them. We should only make sure that these children can inherit the earth.
Patricia Vaccarino has over 20 years' expertise working with a wide range of national and international clients, in all areas of public relations: managing worldwide campaigns for global companies and developing strategy for small companies, startup ventures, and individuals.