When Josiah Gilbert Holland penned the words to his poem, Wanted, he could hardly have known how universal and everlasting they would become. In 1872, the suffrage movement was in full swing. Ironically, while Holland was a supporter of President Linconln's efforts toward emancipation, he was vehemently opposed to suffrage and women's rights. Nevertheless, I believe, this poem written in the midst of the battle for women's rights has transcended that moment in time.
Today, Holland's words can be used as a call to wake the masses from the apathy and media brainwashing that exists in our country and around the world.
(NOTE: In sharing Holland's words, I have, in parenthesis, replaced the word men with people. Suffrage became reality in 1920. A poem of this ilk can now be fearlessly addressed to all, thus the use of "people.")
God, give us (people!) A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
(People) whom the lust of office does not kill;
(People) whom the spoils of office can not buy;
(People)who possess opinions and a will;
(People) who have honor; -- (people) who will not lie;
(People)who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
(People), sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
Josiah Gilbert Holland (1872)
May we all fearlessly move forward, always striving for goodness, kindness, unity. May we never give in to the ease of conforming. And, may we always hope for the best from ourselves and all around us.
Many will be attending Women's Marches in Washington DC and around the world. Please join my Women's March page on Facebook and share words of encouragement and/or pictures of the march you attend.