We are able to only unite our nation if we are all free. While certain sectors of the nation are shackled by the burden of poverty, they the folks cannot participate in liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. Those who are sick whether mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually are not free to participate in the pursuit of healing if they don't get help and support in their efforts to get the best treatment. Health care for them is just not affordable at all. Right now the ill health of alcoholism is draining the brain power of our nation. Illicit drugs seem to be the only thing to numb the pain of this our most painful moment in our history. What are we doing if all we see is an increase in crime, pain and unhappiness?
Racism divides a nation. Classism compartmentalizes a nation. Political ideologies destroy a nation. a lot of folks are in turmoil about the country that they love because it hurts when they're marginalized because of the color of their skin. I searched for an identity for a long while. If a person is a person no matter what; then how can I be a person if you treat me bad because of the color of my skin? How can you be a person if your treat others badly?
This is a great time for nations to introduce a new cabinet position. We need a secretary of the nation in every country. This secretary of the nation ought to report directly to the head of state. The primary responsibility of the secretary of the nation is to investigate, design and implement nation building initiatives. These initiatives ought to be underpinned by the human dignity of all folks irrespective of the color of their skin, their social standing, educational qualifications, health or geographic location.
I am growing fed up the ever widening divide between the haves and the have nots. I am growing fed up folks who are losing the last ounce of self respect because they just cannot overcome the odds on their own. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. it's the weak links that will eventually bring nations to their knees. We will only ignore the plight of those struggling to overcome, at our own peril.
Nelson Mandela of South Africa is such a pristine example of what it takes to build a nation. Although he was physically shackled and imprisoned on an island by his oppressors, they could never barricade his mindset. He was always innovative in his quest to free his folks. His life was the clarion call for other people to liberate and transcend their thinking. He had to overcome the mindset of his peers. He had to overcome the views of his comrades. He had to defy the paradigms of his own party. He had to transcend his own past to produce a viable nation for the future. He reached out to other people. He engaged other people. He liberated other people because he was free. He did not just make a difference, he was the difference. He said that if my enemies prefer to alienate me, I will cross the bridge of forgiveness to be reconciled with them in our quest to build our nation. He was instrumental in bringing peace and reconciliation to so a lot of other nations. He bears the scars of his marathon struggle for freedom for all folks.
I guess that a lot of of the world's leaders cannot lead the liberation struggle of all their peoples because they the leaders, themselves, are bound by partisan politics and ideologies. they're in the grip of their own past experiences. They nonetheless cannot give to other people what they themselves did not have. They struggled to get to the position of leadership and now the folks struggle to identify with their leadership. a lot of are just out for themselves or even worse to avenge themselves on their opposition or oppressors. Madiba was right when he said that if we do to them what they did to us, what better are we?
My friends, we need a new world. I mean a new attitude to an old world. We need to do more to help folks. We need to develop policies that will help all folks and not just some folks. we are able to only imagine what next year will look like if we are able to make 2010 a year where we share because we care. How wonderful will it be to visit the sick and the lonely even if they're not related by blood? they're my neighbor. How wonderful will it be if we are able to share a meal with a family where unemployment is eating away their meager resources like a malignant cancer? we are able to lower prices to go to games and events and introduce family friendly pricing. Join the volunteer corps in your town before the last volunteer is a corpse.
So, secretary of the nation will you please use your president's last state of the nation address and concretize it. Let the common folks on Main Street and Church Street, in our towns, village squares and cities all have a sense of belonging. don't just make us feel that we belong to this nation. Show us through your actions. Let us experience our dignity, and patriotism will revive. Let the flag of our nation fly high on the throne of our hearts. Inspire us to do more than talk. Let us embark on on our street and in the place where we work or worship. Help us produce the difference we want.
Please join me in this discourse about freeing our folks in their thinking because the UNCF motto is right: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. A mind wasted is a life destroyed. A life destroyed is a national liability. Let us embrace our diversity because diversity builds a nation, stronger. I define diversity as the cooperative of folks who bring a variety of biological, spiritual and social backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs as assets to groups and organizations in which they work together to energize and enact the organizational mission. In this context I would say that we work together to energize and enact nation building.