Wednesday, July 4, 2012

E Pluribus Unum

by Deren Hansen

The word, "holiday," comes from holy day--a day set apart from quotidian concerns. To paraphrase the Danish prince badly, we honor most of them with a breach rather than an observance.

Independence Day, though entirely secular, is one holiday we ought to observe. In this time when it seems our public discourse is almost entirely given over to shouting about the things that separate us, we need to remember what binds us together into a whole that can be, in our finest moments, greater than the sum of its parts.

E pluribus unum: out of many, one.

There's also a lesson there for us as writers: a story is a way of organizing ideas into a coherent whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Take time today to look past the flags, fireworks, and fly-overs and try to comprehend the vast community, seething with conflicting interests, that makes all of this possible.

And take time, either in the context of your current project or a separate piece, to write about it.

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