That’s Margaret Fuller, a woman who packed more into her scant forty years than most of us will do in two lifetimes. She was a journalist, poet, feminist and activist. She was the female figurehead of the American Transcendentalist philosophical movement in the early 19th century. A popular notion is that she was the model for the vivid character of Zenobia in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Blithedale Romance. The Poetry Daily dips into some of her wise words for some Monday Motivation. And a bit of courage.
The quotation I found is so relevent to current events. But she wrote it in 1844. Public evil that seems unconquerable and justice elusive is not a new story. Racial and gender injustice may not be written into many history books, but the struggle to achieve justice is the universal human story. Fuller had no vote. A woman was the chattel of her husband. Fuller married late and very, very choosily. Slavery was rife and Free People of Color were being impressed back into slavery after the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision in 1857. Injustice was very much part of the world Margaret Fuller inhabited. But it was also an energetic world of a new nation defining its identity. Fuller was part of a cultural context that took words, and the sentiments that loaded them, very seriously. A civil war was simmering in the USA. It would erupt ten years after Fuller drowned in a shopwreck with her husband and child of Fire Island. Tumultuous times. Nonetheless, she persisted in raising her voice and being heard.
Might a sense of the true aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till public and private honor become identical.Summer on the Lakes, in 1843
"Till public and private honor become identical..."
Let past sins forgiven not be forgotten history.
Upholding your shiny ideals is not so abnormal.
Each generation must repeat doing so actively.
Defining the true aims of life makes us incorruptible
Copyright 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.