Adamant of Time

torbakhopper / / CC BY

What are we - do we know us? Is this the same country that Whitman knew? Would he know it now? Have we really progressed? Is there more to us than self-interest? More than the individual consumer, singular citizen, lone agent American? Is there an Us? Does our culture amount to more than the items in our shopping carts? Will we ever stop killing each other, stop sending our children to die? Will we ever learn to be happy, content with our lives? Will we destroy ourselves?

These questions, I think, are for Whitman, wherever he is. And they are for every man or woman in America who has the audacity to pick up a pen and ask: Who am I? Because that is all Whitman did, but in order to answer it he had to ask another question: Who are we? And that is the question that all we spend our lives trying to answer.

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