We The People...We Can Be Better Than This.

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

We The People...We Can Be Better Than This.

We The People...We Can Be Better Than This.

"Sun coming through the flag" Jeffry; https://www.flickr.com/photos/dreamsailors/

Many of you know that the Wings & Whimsy blog is not something I do in a silo, and my two most constant and invaluable partners are Ali Mercier and Thom Holme.  We wouldn’t be here without them.  When we were working to post last week’s piece, on Being Right, Thom sent me a historical and iconic photo that the piece reminded him of. 

That picture got him thinking… and writing.    He quietly posted this amazingly powerful piece on our country last week.  I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

Unbeknownst to either of us, while he was writing that, I was writing this for this week’s post: 

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“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, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


… in order to form a more perfect union.

… in order to establish justice.

… in order to insure domestic tranquility.

… in order to provide for the common defense.

… in order to promote the general welfare.

… in order to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity.  


We the People. ALL the people.

What is WRONG with us?

A perfect union, complete with justice and domestic tranquility, designed to support the common defense and general welfare of all of its citizens. Does that sound like us right now?

Here is what I believe. I believe that Colin Kaepernick, when he takes a knee instead of standing for the National Anthem, is not disrespecting the flag. I believe that he’s reminding us what the flag actually stands for.

The flag stands for a country that declared its independence against a country and a king who, in our founding fathers’ opinion, was “a Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant” and therefore was “unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” 

The flag represents a country that was founded on the belief that as a people we should live in domestic tranquility, free from tyranny.

The flag represents a country that should provide for the common defense of all its citizens.

The flag represents a country wherein all of its citizens should believe in their own right to liberty and prosperity, and believe that that right will be supported by their fellow citizens. 

I am so deeply grateful for the men and women who serve our country with honor and dignity both here and overseas. I am so deeply grateful for the men and woman who police our towns and our country with honor and dignity, understanding that all citizens are deserving of an assumption of inherent good. I am so deeply grateful for those who seek to unite rather than divide. I am so grateful for a moment of human affection that crosses political divide-- for any moment that says we can disagree and still hold each other with respect. 

And just like Colin Kaepernick when he kneels before the flag, I believe that I can be appreciative of all those things and still acknowledge that there is a growing swell that will act to divide us if we don’t do more. These are precarious times.

We can do better than this.

We can be better than this.

So as we round the corner toward perhaps the most important presidential election of our country’s history, I am going to work to remind myself and those around me that this country was founded on the belief that all of its citizens are deserving of justice, tranquility, and liberty. And my actions should reflect just that.


So, while I think Thom says it much better than I do, I guess what we're both wondering is: How can we all be better today? 


Wings & Whimsy Challenge:

Let's talk about this.... and hold each other with respect. Do
you agree? Disagree? Tell me why in the comments below, or
tweet me @ErikaPetrelli1


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“We The People…We Can Be Better Than This.”, The Leadership Program, 2016


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.