Jane Addams Quotes

As democracy modifies our conception of life, it constantly raises the value and function of each member of the community, however humble he may be.

Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

American activist Jane Addams (1860-1935) was the second woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.  Her accomplishments are many as she labored as a reformer, social worker, and author.  She was a timeless voice for world peace and women’s suffrage.

Defining Moments (Elfchen Series #69)

Endearing

Appreciate

Day’s treasures

Each precious minute

Fleeting moments pass by

Photographs

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Persevering

Freedom’s

Challenging task

Brick by brick

Renewing democracy’s fragile road

Courage

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Celebrating

Legendary

Life journey

Childhood’s early dreams

Maturing into life’s amazing

Accomplishments

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This series of poems (written in the German-inspired style of Elfchen or Elevenie) shares a total of eleven words in each poem, with a sequence by line of one, two, three, four, and one words.

Undaunted Spirit

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Born to serve freedom

America lives

Liberty’s fabric

Lasting spirit gives

 

Nation remembers

Forefather’s boldness

Valley Forge unites

Despite war’s coldness

 

New country now born

Republic takes shape

Independence sings

Brave sovereign’s landscape

 

Young democracy

Learns from stumbling steps

Imperfect Union

Overcomes missteps

 

Legacy passed down

Each generation

Diverse history

Building one nation

 

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From the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution:  “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union . . . .”

Monday Memories: America’s Election Night

This poem was originally written in October, 2018.  At the time, it seemed more of a reflective piece, written prior to the elections in November of that year.  The text has been edited to update the overall style, but the original theme remains the same.  In light of the election of 2020, it seems to be an appropriate time to publish this poem again.

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Voting has finally finished for yet another election

Americans have once again made their selections

 

As the election numbers begin to trickle in

People grow anxious to learn who will win

 

The past weeks have bombarded the airwaves with ads

Some of their messages are so negative and very sad

 

Candidates rekindle passions with their positions

Voters seek news outlets with impartial conditions

 

Democratic or Republican, both sides seek votes

Our world seems confused, filling with wild oats

 

Many look back at the past and yearn to return

But so much has changed in taking a wrong turn

 

Any nation steps forward, when citizens rally as one

Coming together, putting country ahead of anyone

 

Falling asleep in his chair, with the television still on

He awakens to see a nation coming together at dawn

 

America is the home of the brave and the land of the free

Let us all make our country as proud as it should really be

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House United

america ancient architecture art

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This post takes a different route from my normal avenues of poetry and short stories.  Like many Americans, I pray often for our nation and its future.  I am a husband, father, and grandfather who loves his country, only after God and family.

America has overcome difficult periods throughout its history.  In our past and present times, we sometimes appear to be a very divided nation, and God’s Word says more in this verse from the Gospel of Mark.

From Mark 3:25:  “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”

Our nation has overcome past circumstances which threatened to split apart our nation.  Over the years, our leaders have mastered the strength of compromise to move the country forward.

In the 1980s, two American leaders from different political parties, with their own perspectives, came together for a common cause.  President Ronald Reagan (Republican) and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill (Democrat) proceeded to craft a better way to make Social Security pensions more sustainable far into the future.  We are still using their compromise today because these two men put aside their individual philosophical differences for the good of the nation.

During World War II, an unprepared nation had to unite in spirit and cooperation to find the means for victory in a world-wide conflict that spanned the globe.  The “Greatest Generation” came together as a nation of brothers and sisters, willing to pay the price for ultimate victory.

A democratic republic requires civilized, respectful public discourse through peaceful assembly of its citizens, passionate debates in its legislative bodies, and a free press articulating the facts.  Many of these are protected in our Constitution under the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) was added to protect the rights of all Americans.  The Federalists favored a strong national government after the ineffective government under the Articles of Confederation following the Revolutionary War.  Opposing this view were the Anti-Federalists who wanted to protect individual liberties, which were a large reason behind the war of independence.  A compromise was reached to “check” the power of the national government—through ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Abraham Lincoln was running for the U.S. Senate in 1858 when he presented a speech, and here is an excerpt.

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand . . . I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”

Lincoln lost the election to Stephen A. Douglas, but he would take his place in Presidential history with his election in 1860 to the highest office in the land.

In November, 1863, in the middle of America’s Civil War, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address.  His words from the beginning and ending of his speech still resonate today.

“. . . our father’s brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

“. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Our forefathers deliberated over the design of a new form of government for the young nation, and they found ways to compromise and create a lasting union.  This philosophy is very evident in the Preamble of the Constitution.

“WE the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . . .”

As I pray each day for our great nation, I am guided by humility as I bring my thoughts to God.  I am reminded by the insightful words of King Solomon in Proverbs 2:6-8.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of His faithful ones.”

America’s Election Night

i voted sticker lot

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Voting has finally finished for another election

Americans have once again made their selections

As the election results begin to trickle in

People grow anxious to learn who will win

The past weeks have bombarded the airwaves with ads

Some of their messages are so negative and very sad

Our President arouses emotions when he expresses views

It is a sham and a shame to blame Fake News

Democrat or Republican, both sides take blame

At times our world never seems to be the same

Many look back at the past and ask to return

But so much has changed and taken a wrong turn 

Any nation is only great when its entire population

Unifies and comes together in ways that bring adoration

Falling asleep in my chair with the television still on

I awaken to see a nation coming together as one

America is the home of the brave and the land of the free

Let us all make our country as proud as it should be

This poem is more of an opinion piece.  While I am sometimes frustrated and disappointed in America, I still carry high hopes for this nation to repair its dysfunctions and act as one!  Every citizen needs to get out and vote in every election.  Each vote is important to preserving democracy in the land of the free.  Our Founding Fathers built and designed this nation to last and stay strong.  Perhaps we need to capture some of their patriotic and unselfish spirit before we go on.