Saved for a Purpose

My constant concern with what was the right thing to do kept me in the domain of applied ethics, striving often to apply the ethical theories I had so studiously examined in my theological studies to real-life issues and dilemmas.

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Dear Students, Colleagues, & Friends of the Hart Leadership Program,

In 1949, the great American poet Langston Hughes published a short poem called “Freedom” that directly analogized democracy to a garden. “Freedom is a strong seed,” Hughes wrote, “Planted in a great need.”  The need for a genuine democracy, nurtured by a clear-eyed understanding of history and transformation, has never been greater, even as foundational rights seem to evaporate with the stroke of a Justice’s pen.  As a lifelong gardener, teacher, and democracy advocate, I have come to appreciate that roots and soil are as important as blooms when cultivating public-minded leadership.  That insight gives me hope even now when this thing we call Democracy seems not to be working.

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