We get your discouragement with the current political system – we’re discouraged too. In fact, that’s why we started BriteHeart – to bring some hope and joy to the process. We all have to recognize that we have some responsibility for the dysfunctionality of our government. It only works with us!

Democracy depends upon the consent of the governed – to give your consent, it’s imperative that you participate by registering, voting and expressing your opinion on matters important to you. We’re here to help you do this. Let us know how we can be more helpful to you. We’ll keep the conversation going.

And today we need to say that the awful images coming from Paris remind us, once again, how fragile our beloved institutions are and how, as the rebuilding of Notre Dame will demonstrate, these institutions, like democracy, depend upon our support and involvement. We may hope that out of the ashes will come for all of us the rare privilege of helping to rebuild a sacred place, just as we can do here at home by standing up to support, nourish and rebuild our democracy. It’s not too great a stretch to compare these two today as both are hallmarks of Western Civilization.

Fifty years ago in the Spring of 1969, Kenneth Clark introduced his landmark series ‘Civilization’ to the world. To begin the first show, he stood in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and asked, “What is civilization? I do not know. I can’t define it in abstract terms –yet. But I think I can recognize it when I see it.” Then he paused, turned around, gazed at the great Cathedral and promised, “and I am looking at it now.”

The Cathedral of Notre Dame and democracy symbolize humanity’s highest aspirations. They are timeless frameworks to guide us, cherish and protect. They’re so much more than wood, stone or words on a piece of paper. With love and careful attention, they will enrich us all forever.