Here’s Hoping 

Thomas Jefferson’s last public letter was written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence, and it contains this hopeful passage:

“all eyes are opened, or opening to the rights of man. the general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth that the mass of mankind has not been born, with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of god. these are grounds of hope for others. for ourselves let the annual return of this day, for ever refresh our recollections of these rights and an undiminished devotion to them.”

The article also does a good job covering the contradictions between Jefferson’s noble words and far-from-noble actions. Here’s hoping we can live up to the high-minded ideals, and that every generation can indeed be a little better than the one before it.