Author of two books, Authentic Patriotism and Last Rites, Stephen travels the country speaking to varied audiences about health care, civic engagement, ethics, service learning, meaningful living, medical research, the green economy, criminal justice, race relations, the power of personal commitment, hospice, palliative care and advance directives. He has taught at Middlebury College and the New England Young Writers Conference, and has worked on the staff of the Breadloaf School of English and the Breadloaf Writers Conference. He serves on the board of the Young Writers Project and the advisory committee of the New Hampshire Palliative Care Initiative.
We close our season "The Divided States of America" with a call to action by author Stephen P. Kiernan. In Authentic Patriotism, Kiernan highlights the high calling of rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work in front of us in America:
gives liberals and conservatives equal credit for their contribution to American discourse. It also holds them equally to blame for the polarized and ineffective condition of political life in the United States. I'm reminded of the line in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet: "A plague on both your houses."
The problems America faces are not going to be solved by either political party, nor are they exclusively the fault of any political party. In a democracy, politics are merely the manifestation of the people's will; if Congress is weak, it is because the public's leadership of politicians has been insufficient.
The root problem is the disengagement of ordinary Americans from the task of maintaining the nation's vitality and quality of life. Political parties, in my view, are only of value to the extent that they engage people constructively in that task. I am more interested in a busy soccer mom who volunteers in a local adult literacy program than I am in the congressional representative for her district. We already have enough people in Congress; we do not have enough people working in adult literacy – or in many other areas where a volunteer can make a huge difference."
Authentic Patriotism just received a silver medal in the Nautilus Book Awards.
Thank you to our co-sponsors FSU Center for Leadership & Civic Education:
If you share the belief that people who act in common purpose for the good of the country are essential to restoring America, don't just admire authentic patriots. Be one. Be one.
That is the thrust of the B1 campaign: to empower all Americans over the age of 10 to participate in some endeavor that serves the public good – for the difference it will make in the lives of needy people, for the contribution it will make to national strength, for the positive impact it will have on the economy, and for the emotional enrichment people will receive by participating in a cause larger than themselves.
Get more information on becoming part of B1 HERE . Nominate an Authentic Patriot to be treated to dinner on June 21 HERE.