One of the most profound realizations in my life occurred when I was a volunteer with a small non-profit in Norfolk. The organization had a governing document, its bylaws, which established its officers and the procedures to be followed by its board of directors. I don’t remember what triggered the thought, but one day I suddenly recognized the similarity of the organization’s bylaws and the U.S. Constitution.
Previously I had tended to think of the Constitution as either a philosophical treatise or as a type of contract or grant. But in my moment of recognition, I began to see the Constitution as an article of incorporation, essentially a policy and procedures document.
I have found this particular insight to be perennially useful. So I share it today in honor of the anniversary.