Anyone awake to the world, knows that the public arena has grown very
fractious – dangerously so. Public conversation has become raw and
coarse and our sensibilities are continuously assaulted. It is also a
time when common national visions are sundered and fragmented. We lack
unity with regard to shared norms that endow national purposes with
clarity and confidence. We suffer from a want of abiding values.
I dedicate my first talk of the new season to interpreting Ethical
Culture, as I always do in September. Beyond the need to actively resist
the political forces that threaten us (Ethical Culture has always been
an activist, not quietest, movement) we need to stay the course and
renew our dedication to Ethical Culture’s deepest values. We need to do
this not only to preserve our own equanimity, but as an answer to the
madness to swirls around us.