Purpose of America

Roy Spence and Haley Rushing say, at Huffington Post, It’s Time to Renew the Purpose of America. This resonates well with me – I’ve been doing a lot of work defining and organizing around purposeful thinking and setting goals lately. The clarity in that kind of work is powerful.

America’s clear purpose was already articulated, they say: To be a nation of the people, by the people and for the people, always moving forward without leaving anyone behind.

The first pillar of our nation’s purpose was originally, eloquently and prophetically spoken by our 16th President on the battlefield at Gettysburg. On the political battlefield of our day, with its own deep divisiveness, let us all come together behind the sacred purpose in those words. It does not say of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, for the lobbyists. And it does not say of the bankers, or by the Democrats, or for the Republicans. It says that in our nation, the people are in charge. We are responsible and accountable for our deeds. And we are the beneficiaries of all we achieve.

The second pillar of our purpose is about progress itself. Always moving forward without leaving anyone behind. We are a nation of doers and dreamers and it’s that drive, that purposeful pursuit of what’s next that has taken us to places we could never have imagined. Let us never waver in that conviction to achieve. Now is the time to redouble our ambition, to look up from the circumstances we’re in and toward the place we want to be. And then let’s go there. All together.

They go on to say that “in times of great turmoil, purpose is your anchor.” And in a period of calm, “purpose is also your north star.”

Rod Bell, who was my undergraduate government professor almost 40 years ago, said “to solve big problems, you have to have big confusion.” Problems and confusion have both been growing, where are the solutions? Spence and Rushing include an Abraham Lincoln quote: “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.”

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.

2 thoughts on “Purpose of America”

  1. Jon,

    This resonates we me too! I am wondering, is there a primary community where others who care about purpose are hanging out?


  2. Hey Steve!

    I saw your comment and wanted to respond. I work at GSD&M Idea City, Roy Spence’s advertising agency. We created a Facebook Group associated with the book, “It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For.” http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=20397925063#/group.php?gid=45553468690

    Granted, it is based around the book, but it is a great place to be if you want updates about more things Idea City, Roy and Haley are doing around purpose.

    There has also been a lot of discussion directly on the Huffington Post blog about this article:

    Hope that helps!

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