We the People

Bill Thompson - Chaplin

Bill Thompson – Chaplin

“WE THE PEOPLE”…..reminds us immediately of our own Constitution. Recently, I heard of a history professor who told his students “The question for the 19th century Americans was how do we define the circle of we?” Good question! How do we define our circle of we ? Early Americans included men who owned property in their circle of we–but they didn’t want to include property-less men. What about the four million slaves owned before the Civil War? What about free black members of society? It was in 1848 that a convention was convened in Seneca Falls, NY in order to question whether or not women belonged within the circle of we . Women continued to struggle for the right to vote until 1920. Poll taxes and literacy tests sought to keep black Americans from voting for more than half of the 20th century. In our century we are still struggling with who ought to be included within our circle of we. History shows us that we are not perfect and that we today have made mistakes when it comes to defining our circle. It’s a lot easier to be like a mule with blinders pulling its plow who knows that anything out of its limited range of vision is unimportant. Who among us has the faith and the courage to expand our circle of we ? Surely we have seen the problems related to a too small circle of we . My prayer for myself and you is that we may define our circle of we with grace and love rather than fear, hatred, and selfishness.


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