Reckoning from the year 1776, this country is two hundred and forty-four years old. I have lived sixty-four of those years, roughly a quarter of that span. Reading the relatively brief history of this land, how can I not be stunned and saddened by the magnitude of the slaughter, theft, exploitation, and waste that marks each stage of its development? Certainly I am not surprised to find the country as tragically ignorant and as dangerously divided as ever. It’s the result of a natural, logical progression, a reaping of what has been sown. Yes, there have been amazing discoveries; wonderful accomplishments; revelatory flights of artistic and philosophic renown; and there have been countless unrecorded expressions of compassion and love. There have also been slavery and war. And there are slavery and war still. If only I could wear a mask to keep them from spreading. But faced with a disease so deadly, it is clear that one must be a mask. If my life is faithfully and unselfishly worn, maybe I can help prevent the proliferation of ignorance and ingratitude, beginning with my own. And then who knows what these eyes will show?
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