Friday, January 20, 2017

Never really engaged with my blog.  I wrote one post, and then just led it fade away. I am back with renewed vigor and intention.

As Obama just stated, "This is not a period, it is a comma."
I jotted down this stream of consciousness in my journal while watching the Presidential Inauguration. Reflection via my pen and paper is cathartic. Flawed, surely; Complete, never; Genuine, absolutely:
Transitions. Shaken to the core but my indelible spirit remains. The day is here. With vigor I write, my pen scalding. Emotions complex, raw. Vulnerability perspiring, yet solidarity brimming. I tear into every fiber of this page. A flame is ignited. I stand for compassion. I will fight for equality. Light will give way and respect the dark. Extreme nationalism is antiquated. Acknowledging my fortunate freedoms by birth, utilizing them. Progress is imminent. We, the world will rise up. A world of wonderful diversity. A world that faces climate change together. A world that must come together. A world that opens our hearts to the people of Aleppo, to South Sudan, to Veterans who have sacrificed so much and are silently crying for help, to anyone in desperate need for a sense of worth.
Extreme patriotic rhetoric is no panacea to prejudice. We're not bounded merely by borders. Imaginary lines isolating us, and systemically creating notions of superiority. Wealth derives from compassion and the human spirit...not money. Time to look beyond the self and extend not merely a hand, but a resilient empathetic spirit. Even to those I vehemently oppose, I will listen; but I will not be quiet.
We are equipped with the greatest weapons of all. Love and perspective. They will prevail. The human spirit is strong not just the American one. Yes, as Americans we can use many of our collective privileges and creative aspirations and actions to stand up for what's right in this world. Thank you Obamas for your undeniable integrity. Thank you for being the face and voice for so many. You tackled our "crumbling infrastructure." You began building the bridge that brings our world together. You are truly an inspiration and your legacy resides inside my very core. Shaken as it is, it has never been more awoken.  Yes we can!

I wrote this as a follow up to a friend who commented on the writing above saying they wish they were hopeful as I was. The following is my response:

I wouldn't necessarily deem it hopeful. I'm unsure of the exact sentiment (hence the stream of consciousness and grappling of complex emotions), but I know many of us who loved the Obamas fell into a bit of complacency. We had a leader who connected with our core values and progress felt inevitable. America just felt more "human." I know I live in my bubble, but throughout my travels many in other countries spoke honorably of Obama and what our country was doing. It was rather humbling, and I felt as American as I ever have. 

Now the tables are turned, and we see many of what we considered "progress" albeit at its nascent stages... highly threatened. We have been so battered by this election and inundated with hate. negativity and inequality... it has re-ignited those core values, and we feel a greater need than ever to continue on with what the Obamas started. It's their legacy. It's our legacy that progress is forthcoming. Even Trump said in his speech today, 'What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people." We, the MAJORITY of the people have to stand up and keep the progress train rolling, some semblance of hope alive, listen and hold the new government accountable. I believe in the power of the people, and I do think we are as fired up as we have ever been. I see this election result as for lack of a better term..."The white man's last stand." We are becoming a nation that is more and more tolerable and open to diversity. Sure many in middle and rural America felt unheard, and had their traditional values challenged. I have a modicum of empathy for them. Progress feels threatening. Many have never even crossed state lines before much less seen other areas of the world. So, it's difficult for them to think beyond themselves...but many of them are respectful, honest and hardworking people and they felt neglected. (Most were duped by Trump and time will show that) They felt inferior to some of the elitist attitudes that were stewing; however, I don't find anything elitist about promoting education, having tact, having integrity, compassion and a sense of class. If anything, it's what I hang my relative patriotic American hat on...Our ability in America to be creative, use free speech, be compassionate, tolerable and chase our dreams. 

The only thing I see fit right now to counter what has transpired is... By action. By listening. By not acting better than anyone. By acts of service..By compassion and by using our collective voices in whatever form that is. All that being said....we are going to face some extremely difficult times...many of us are deeply struck at the core, and I am hopeful that we will act. It's the only thing we know to do. It's not about "I" or "Making America Again" rhetoric. It's about "we" and "Making our world a more equitable and sustainable place for human beings and for our environment." It's the American thing to do". I feel many of us represent this worldview and go beyond the insular thinking of "America First". That is supremely selfish and unbecoming. I am trying mightily hard (and it's not easy) to have a fraction of the class and dignity the Obamas have embodied and had throughout this arduous election cycle.That's my rant ...actually probably not, I am sure much more to come. And of course these are merely my opinions and hold no definitive truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment