The Preamble – We the People
Jeff P. Gregory
WE THE PEOPLE
The first time I was introduced to “We the People” was when I was watching my Saturday morning cartoons and I heard this tune from Schoolhouse Rock. I was too young to understand the true meaning of the words that were singing to me through the TV. But it was a catchy tune and I knew the words, so I sang along, not knowing what I was singing.
The next time I heard those words were in 5th Grade when we started to study the Constitution. It was a week long study and I just tried to remember what I needed for the test that followed. From 5th grade to 12th, I had heard those words occasionally. I really did not study or research why those words were so important. I was more worried about passing the class, graduating, and leaving school forever. I thought there would not be a need for me to reference these words in my everyday life after school.
Over the next 25 years, I heard these words every now and then while listening to the radio or reading the paper. Again I did not comprehend how important these words are and what they represent. I was more worried about things like rent and food. I thought I was involved in politics; I voted in each election and joined in conversations regarding current events. But as I got older, I realized that wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s, and my wife and I started to get involved in a local political group, that I would cross these words again. This group focused on Constitutional Values and the liberties we were being stripped of at the passing of every bill in Congress. I started to pay more attention to the words that followed “We the People”. It was then that that song I heard for the first time coming from my TV when I was a kid started to replay in my head. But what did they mean to me? I started to read further to try and understand how the Constitution, starting with those 3 words, impacted my life. But I was trying to read and comprehend everything at once while still maintaining both my personal and professional life. I was getting frustrated.
In talking with my wife and friends, the idea to study the Constitution one item at a time and describe what it means to each of us came up. This way we are not trying to dissect the entire document at once and not understanding the importance of each part. Everyone will have a different point of view of each section, which is great. Nobody would be right or wrong; it is our own interpretation of the article and how it impacts our lives. Having different perspectives from different races, sexes, and professions would enlighten the entire group. Then the idea came up to make these available to the public to encourage others to study along with us to become a more educated public in matters of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It has been a long time since I have seen that Saturday morning cartoon where I first heard the words “We the People”. After 40 plus years, it is time to fully understand what those words actually mean to me and my family.