“Ladies and Gentlemen, if you must believe that pleasure and happiness are two faces on the same Eve – that when we experience pleasure we are ‘happy,’ then do not follow me. For I see pleasure as fleeting and insubstantial, derived from making ourselves comfortable; happiness as enduring and cumulative, derived from making ourselves useful.
“If you must believe that womankind are of a lesser light, taking as your cue the dark ravings of the God of Original Sin, then do not follow me. For I can conceive of no element of the masculine that does not require an equal and opposing element of the feminine.
“If you must believe that politicians are as inevitable to the republican form of government as are ambition and expediency, then do not follow me. For the only enduring republican form of government I can envision replaces election with conscription, ambition with duty, private gain with public service.
“If you must believe in a hierarchy of the sacred – that Nature holds certain of her creations in higher esteem than others – then do not follow me. For I see the same miracle in the flea as I see in thee.
“If you must believe that a close supervision of our progeny is of secondary concern, subordinate to personal pursuits of ‘success,’ then do not follow me. For I see in every favoring of the secular over the sacred, whether calculated or otherwise, the possibility, nay, the probability, of a great human tragedy.
“If you must believe that the god of your tribe is the god of all tribes, is the only true god, then do not follow me. For my god is of a thousand faces, and of no face at all.
“If you must believe that truth is absolute and revealed, borne on the gossamer wings of perfect words launched from the lips of sainted prophets, then do not follow me. For I know of no truth that upon the en-coding of it does not invite an endless de-coding of it.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the long, empty era of the eminence of the individual over community, of rights over responsibilities, of dominion over sovereignty, of separation over inclusion, of exploitation over stewardship, of us over them – is over. We enter today a new era, to be named by our heirs what we will have made of it.
“Ladies and gentlemen, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask not what you can do for your country. Ladies and gentlemen, ask what you can do for each other. [Note: Please send this link to other people. Thank you.]