Best selling business author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is making a mint lately talking about his “golden circle.” In the outer ring is WHAT you do. The next ring in is HOW you do it. The bull’s eye target of his circle is the WHY. Why do you do what you do?
Sinek’s secret has even been making big buzz in the Ed biz among teachers hoping to motivate students to learn. Over 240 years ago in Philadelphia the founding fathers were also focused on why.
Lots of Social Studies and Government teachers point out to their students that the U.S. Constitution contains six principles including; popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, checks-and-balances, judicial review and limited government.
These are vital to understanding the Constitution, but I’d argue that these six principles are the WHAT. The Preamble of the Constitution provides the WHY.
If you don’t have the 70’s School House Rock song memorized, you owe it to yourself to try. Why? (pun intended) Because the Preamble is our national Mission Statement.
You know how many businesses (usually motels and restaurants) hang a mission statement behind their from counters? Think of the Preamble as “Our Promise to our customers” or “Our pledge to you.” We the people can use the six principles found in the Preamble to hold our representatives accountable.
Everything we do as a country ought to align with these six goals. Always ask yourself if any given bill, law, program or policy promotes at least one of these six principles. Ask if anything our leaders do or promise impedes or prevents us from reaching any of these goals.
- Form a more Perfect Union
- Establish Justice
- Insure Domestic Tranquility
- Provide for the Common Defense
- Promote the General Welfare
- Secure the blessings of Liberty
It’s a short list. I bet ya could memorize it pretty easily. Because this is what the Constitution is all about, Charlie Brown!
These are the promises of out social contract, these are our shared-principles which make us one nation, since our nation (unlike others) isn’t based on common ethnicity or lineage. We don’t share bloodlines, we share principles. These are what we claim to fight for, not just fighting to show we’re the greatest or for something vague and unspecific like “our rights” or “freedom” or “our way of life.” These six principles are the she specific forms which rights and freedoms or “the American Way” take.
My hope is to have six more blog posts, one about each principle.