Any person showing a lofty and courageous spirit, nobility of feelings and generosity of mind is magnanimous. These individuals will be more forgiving and considerate of others. Imagine a world containing more rather than less of these.

What are the factors in your life that prevent you from considering yourself magnanimous? I know mine, and am so lacking in magnanimity that I will not be sharing them here. If you meet the criteria, you are among those who prevent the full collapse of our society, and for this I am grateful to you.

How did I come to consider this topic you might ask? It started with my rereading of the Declaration of Independence. My first time through being sometime in the early ’70s, under duress I am sure, as I was not enamored with history at the time.

Having lived through six decades of it, I find I am significantly more interested in it now. It can be beneficial. One of George Santayana’s famous aphorisms alluding to history cannot be more compelling: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

What brought me to the Declaration of Independence and subsequent review of our Constitution are the declarative statements I hear in various vehicles of expression and associated reporting found publicly. Statements that seem not to be true of the intent of the authors of either document.

Likewise, considering the capacity for our Constitution to evolve and considering our nation’s continual development, there appears to be a misunderstanding of the benefits of various amendments, as well as the establishment of important acts of Congress.

I wonder if individuals who are tasked with representing us in the various bodies of governance actually consider us. I wonder if they have taken the time to consider the efforts and subsequent documents aimed at forming a more perfect union.

In the second-to-last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the authors were appealing to their British brethren’s native justice and magnanimity. It was then that I wondered if we could appeal to each other’s, those in positions of leadership, and those who put them there.

It is our civic responsibility to know our leadership. It is our personal responsibility to know ourselves. We can strive to determine the character of our leaders and their capacity to lead, and improve the character of ourselves.

Let us be lofty, courageous, noble and generous. Let us be magnanimous.

— Jordan, of DeLand, is the owner, with his wife, Mercedes, of Jordan Health Clinic & Day Spa.


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