The Audacity of Inspiration
By J.D. Adams
By the end of the writer’s strike, authors had triumphed against media conglomerates and raised awareness of intellectual property. The goal was securing rights for digital media, but the withering vacuum of content also signified the power wielded by the pen.
“For Thomas Jefferson, the pen truly was mightier than the sword. From his pen flowed some of the world's most famous and influential words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
It was Jefferson's brilliant, fact-crammed mind and flair for drama that gave the Declaration its poetic punch. He expressed the ideals in a way that people could take to heart--even be willing to die for.
The Declaration of Independence's influence far outlasted the war. It gave heart to Abraham Lincoln as he strove to preserve the Union during the Civil War. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other suffragists adapted it in demanding the right of women to vote. Martin Luther King Jr. used it to inspire African-Americans during their struggle for civil rights. Indeed, the Declaration's call for "unalienable rights," including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," has been admired and adopted worldwide.”
The delivery of a well-crafted speech can be a pivotal moment in history. How many of us can recall the speeches of John F. Kennedy? His often-repeated and timeless wisdom inspired our generation, and continue to offer hope today. We can still picture him at the podium, and hear his Boston accent as he admonishes and challenges us. John F. Kennedy dared us to dream, and dream we did of a better world. Kennedy’s legacy is a very tangible one, yet he inspired a magical realm we called Camelot.
“In American contexts, the phrase "Camelot" refers to the presidency of John F. Kennedy, as his term was said to have potential and promise for the future, and the period was symbolic of hope for many in the world, who were inspired by Kennedy's speeches, vision and political policies. The period was ended by Kennedy's November 22, 1963 assassination, which is often compared to the fall of King Arthur. The lines "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot," from the musical Camelot, were quoted by his widow Jacqueline as being from his favorite song in the score.”
I remember the time of Camelot as a feeling of indescribable lightness. Notice the unadorned appeal of the following message of hope and see if you can guess who wrote it:
“That is the true genius of America, a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.”
The above remarks were delivered on July 27, 2004 at the Democratic National Convention by a relatively unknown Barack Obama. As noted by Thomas Jefferson and more recently by songwriter Pharrel Williams, “Happiness is the truth”.
© 2008-2015 by JD Adams