Our grandparents told us the story of how long ago the leader of our town government, who was far from being a tyrant, had been elected because he was the best human being available. So the people put both the present and the future of our town in his hands, but in the long run he got more and more tired of everyone agreeing with him all the time, being waited on hand and foot by the loveliest beauty queens, and no one allowing him to lose at poker games. He was desperate to resign, but that was out of the question, and so the solitude of power was bound to kill him. Before he died, his exceptionally noble soul enacted the most loving, most beautiful laws ever heard of, for he had loved all that was good and beautiful in life. These are the decrees he left behind:
I ORDER that in this town nothing should ever be held to be more valuable than life itself, so that we can go hand in hand seeking truth.
I ORDER that every weekday be as bright and luminous as any Sunday.
I DECREE that every house be outfitted with flower boxes and that their windows should be kept open to catch the green songs of spring.
I DECREE that everyone free him – or herself of all lies and take off all masks of secrecy so that all can sit down together and talk of beauty and justice.
I DECREE that more attention be paid to Isaiah the prophet’s “The lamb and the lion will lie together” and that the food they share will have the fragrance of the dawn.
I ORDER that all bread be flavored with tenderness, that joy will be our town’s banner and love its only armament.
AND STARTING TODAY ALL MONEY WILL CARRY AN EXPIRATION DATE SO THAT NO ONE CAN ACCUMULATE IT TO BUY POWER AND DOMINION OVER OTHERS.
THERE WILL ONLY BE ONE ARISTOCRACY, THAT OF THE SPIRIT, AND ONLY ONE PRIVILEGE, THAT OF INTELLIGENT IMAGINATION.
Excerpt from the book, What Does It Mean To Be Human
Edited and compiled by Frederick Franck, Janis Roze & Richard Connolly