"Changing the World....

                                   One Little Tool at a Time"

 
 
BPW/Kansas

Legislation and The Collect


Mary Stewart wrote the collect in 1904 while serving as principal of a high school in Longmont, CO. It was written as a "prayer for the day". She called it a Collect for Club Women because Ms. Stewart "felt that women working together with wide interests for large ends was a new thing under the sun and perhaps they had need for a special petition and meditation of their own".

The Collect was officially adopted by the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs at their second convention in 1920. It was read into the printed records of the Congress of the United States by Senator Tobey of New Hampshire at the closing session in 1949.

Now is the time for our elected representatives to work together for "large ends".

 

The Collect

Keep us, Oh God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.

Let us be done with fault finding and leave off self-seeking.

Everyone in government is responsible for the status of our country regardless of party and social or fiscal beliefs. If you were part of the governing body, you are responsible even if all you did was obstruct. Let’s stop the finger pointing and blame game. You don’t have to make your point by diminishing an opponent. Compromise is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of commitment to the grand design of our forefathers who in the Declaration of Independence sought to "assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind".

May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.

May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.

Work with the members on the other side of the aisle. Don’t denigrate a proposal presented by the other side until you have fully studied it. Don’t assume that Republicans and Democrats do not have anything in common. Members of both parties have been entrusted with governance of our republic; your responsibility is to govern. Look for common ground and build from there.

Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm serene, gentle.

The rhetoric has gotten too vitriolic. We have become a nation where it is acceptable to hate and question the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with you. We can disagree but we don’t have to be disagreeable. There is common ground on every issue if you will lower the volume and stop the name calling. We need to give ourselves over to governing a nation of diverse individuals who are seeking the right to be heard. And, as a leader of women and men, you must embrace their diversity and find that common ground.

Grant that we may realize that it is the little things that create differences; that in the big things of life we are at one.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. – Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

This is the big thing and we should be at one.

And may we strive to touch and to know the great common human heart of us all; and, O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind. – Mary Stewart

"We the People" should realize that we share a common bond -- the blessings of a government that is representative of all the people. The second greatest commandment is to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39 NIV). All law should hang on this commandment.

 

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