While visiting the Disney World village and sitting in the Hall of Presidents I was again reminded how great we can be. For centuries great leaders have been inspiring us to embrace change. We are again embarking on a new journey, one that will forever change the course of mankind. Ponder the messages provided by our forefathers
In 1776 a group of independent leaders gather to construct a document that would offer a living foundation for democracy. In New Beginnings: Powerful Principles for Transformation I explore key excerpts from The Declaration of Independence that defines a then new direction for humanity. These powerful words deserve considerable attention. Their message is even more valid today.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. … That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…
In 1783 a great leader was emerging to guide and inspire a nation of “shopkeepers, farmers and native Americans” to explore a new independent and free nation. It was the vision of George Washington to establish a Constitution that would provide the highest order for democracy. Mr. Washington felt that a president should be:
A leader not born to power
A leader not seized by power
A leader not separate from the people
But a leader elected by the people
Forty years hence our nation would again encounter civil unrest. Another great American would emerge to provide new inspiration. Abraham Lincoln would tell a nation: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It should be these words of steerage that now provide us with direction.
Life circumstances do not define us, they create our potential. What can we learn from these great visionaries? Abraham Lincoln grew up in poverty, had less than one year of formal schooling and he was surrounded by tragedy. In his Gettysburg Address Mr. Lincoln states, “…that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom…”
Once again our world is experiencing civil unrest. We don’t need one leader; we need a multitude of leaders dedicated to preserving the heritage of freedom. Unity will provide a new guided vision to greatness, not one land divided, not one government divided, but a nation united, a world united. We have been given “a guiding vision that calls forth the best we can be.”