On Wednesday (just 4 days ago as I began to write), Joe Biden was inaugurated as president in Washington, D.C. He is a career politician, known for taking mostly moderate stands on issues and following the times more than leading the wave.
Kamala Harris was inaugurated as the first vice-president of color, and the first woman in that office. She made a name for herself as a prosecutor who was “tough on crime” in a very conservative way, although always as a Democrat.
Neither were my first choice during the election cycle, but the message of healing, of hope, of harmony is very much in line with all the yearnings of my being.
Our nation has been rent nearly asunder in the last several years, and it will take people willing to find common ground, to work with those who recently were literally violently in opposition…
The only way to fight an enemy as insidious as –
did you think I was going to say a pandemic?
No, this is more difficult to identify, and far more difficult to eradicate. This is invisible and much harder to eradicate.
The enemy is hatred born of fear.
The enemy is hatred born of ignorance.
The enemy is hatred born of envy.
The enemy is ourselves when we refuse to recognize our commonalities because we find it easier to rant about our differences.
Yes, the pandemic is raging across the face of the planet, fed in part by strongarm politicians around the world scrabbling for control rather than working together for the benefit of the people. Not “their” people, mind you, but THE people. Those who wake up every day and go to work, who bear and rear children in hope that the world may be kinder and more prosperous.
Sadly, too many people find the world an increasingly hostile place, where immigrants are bullied and beaten. A world where people born with innate differences are demeaned and demonized. A world where those who start with little end with less.
Right now… (May!)? Right now I have students and most of my attention is on them, and on their families.
Right now, I am slowly getting back to finding out what is going on with the pain and mobility issues I experience on an almost-daily basis.
Right now, I am not in a position to make much of a difference in the larger world. What CAN I do?
There is an acceleration of hostilities between the state of Israel and the occupied West Bank.
There is continuing oppression (and full-on assault) of civilians who are protesting a military takeover in Myanmar.
There are escalating political rhetoric and military posturing between several “nuclear” powers (including the U.S.).
There are hundreds of thousands of people dying daily from the pandemic (still) and (still) not enough vaccines getting to people who want them.
There are still people dying of preventable diseases because of a lack of access to vaccinations in general – or dying from treatable diseases because healthcare is unavailable or financially out of reach.
There are still thousands of children dying every month of malnutrition.
There are still millions (billions?) living in poverty because of a lack of education…
What can I do?
I can refuse to look away. Witnesses are needed.
I can refuse to stay quiet if/when I am in a position to speak up.
I can choose to be involved to the limits of my health and my family’s needs.
I can choose to rally others who may be able to make a difference.
I can choose to do my best at this moment, and all moments.
I can choose to love, to seek understanding, and I can choose to not hate.
It may be that others will hate me for the positions I take; that others will work to undo that which I strive to accomplish. It may be that others will not choose the same path. And yet:
I can do as much as I am able… which will be “enough.”