With Liberty and Justice For All
The last few days have been strange. Syria's troubles and the US and world's responses, debate over the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, personal setbacks and betrayals of trust, and the reading of Jane Addams book Long Road of Woman's Memory seem to jumble together in my psyche and spirit. If you've never read anything by this woman, whose birthday is celebrated today, September 6th, you should, especially, but certainly not only, if you are a woman. Here's a link to a free reading of one .
Reflecting on the events of these first days of September, the Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah -, and just leaving behind the national holiday of Labor Day, I can't help but be struck by the content of the book mentioned above in relation to all the other events I've recently experienced. Jane Addams was a brilliant author and a keen observer of human nature. Her words continue to ring with truth and brilliance. In this one not over-long tome, I found answers and explanations to the debate over the efficacy and justice of wars, traditional and cultural methods of dealing with personal failings and struggles we all go through in life, and clear representations of how it is that a nation, such as mine, and other nations, continue to progress. How serendipitous!
What I most adore about Jane Addams writing is the narrator's perspective that makes the history lesson, sociology lesson, psychology lesson, and spiritual dissertation come alive to the reader. I was able to read her book mentioned in the first paragraph online for free after a short search for her writings. There is no excuse not to, at least, read the introduction. Likely you will not be able to "put it down" until you are finished reading it, as was I. Let me encourage you by saying, I learned much, I was entertained, and I cried a little, too. It boggles my mind that this book was not one we were encouraged to read in High School or College, yet, even so, somehow, it doesn't surprise me. First, because it is a strong, intelligent and educated female's work; and, last, reading lists, at least while I was school-aged, were likely compiled by men. "Nuff said.