Today I’m excited to mine some more practical wisdom from that great book.
Let’s get straight to work.
Tom tells us: “Now is our time. This is our moment. We need to step up to make a difference. And we can. The American adventure of freedom, equality, and justice is in our hands. It may sound like too much to say that even the fate of the earth may hinge on what we do now, but it’s no exaggeration at all. The challenges we face are many and momentous, and as a result, the opportunities we have are immense. The future of our nation and, indirectly, of humankind, turns on how we act now as citizens of our highly visible democracy and the pioneers in our day for living its stated values in the world.”
Tom continues by saying: “It’s a good time for a new understanding of patriotism in America, inspired by our oldest ideals. We also need a broader, deeper, and more expansive idea of citizenship connected with it. A powerful vision for what it means to be a patriotic citizen in our day can energize and guide us into the future. Our nation can’t wait any longer. Neither can the world. The time has come for a renewed clarity about who we are and what we can do together. The call of our day demands some important new attitudes and vital new actions. We’re at a watershed moment on which so much turns.”
As we’ve discussed, one of the consistent themes of my chats with my Yoda, Phil Stutz, is the fact that we are facing HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT challenges.
Step back and imagine looking back at this moment in five hundred years.
I believe it will have historically significant weight.
As I have said often over the last couple years, we’re not just recovering from a global pandemic of COVID-19. We’re facing PANDEMIC levels of anxiety, depression, cancer, diabetes, environmental degradation and, of course, political polarization.
And, as I see it, the ONLY possible way we can meet these *historically significant* challenges is if each of us steps up and starts showing up as the best, most Heroic version of ourselves—not someday but TODAY.
Tom uses the phrase “everyday patriot” to capture the spirit of this call of our time. I like to think of it as “everyday hero.”
In this context, however, I want to talk about what it means to be a noble “citizen” of the United States—or ANY country.
As Tom says: “Here is the key: Citizenship isn’t just a legal status; it’s a moral calling. And patriotism isn’t just a feeling. It’s an equally moral commitment that can be a powerful impetus for making our neighborhoods, our nation, and our world a better place. It is our duty, and can be an important part of our joy. When we have a deeper and richer sense of ourselves as Americans, we can do great things together.”
Imagine that our citizenship isn’t just a legal status.
It’s a MORAL OBLIGATION.
A call to GIVE BACK in equal measure to all that we have achieved.
That’s what it means to be an everyday patriot-hero.
Let’s be one.