It’s 2017, right before your inauguration. I have dreaded this day, though not certain just how afraid I, and those like me, should be. Are we afraid yet have no reason to because your bark is worse than your bite? Or are our fears real, and we need to buckle up, keep our eyes and ears open, and stay keenly tuned in to your every step? As I have pondered these two dichotomies a story comes to mind from my early twenties. My mom and I were remodeling a home that would soon be my very first home. It was in complete disrepair. It didn’t have plumbing, electricity, or even walls. Yet, I knew just how beautiful it was going to be. One day as I was pulling wire, the contractor working with us began using a sawzall. I was mesmerized by just how effective this tool was, and powerful too. The contractor noticed me watching and asked if I had wanted to try using it. I quickly said “Oh no I am too afraid. It is a very powerful piece of equipment.” He smiled and said “Yes it is. Ready?”, as he handed the tool to me. I shook my head and repeated my fear, “No, I am too afraid I will hurt myself.” He quickly replied “Well good”, handed the tool to me and continued with, “You are less likely to hurt yourself then.” So he addressed each of my fears and as he addressed each fear, I began using the tool. As I did I found that my fear was a good guide for what to consider, questions to ask, and how best to handle this powerful yet effective tool. Fear was just my reminder how careful and considerate I needed to be, but by no means a reason to not proceed. So proceed is what I did, and with much success I might add.
So as I think about how I will proceed with these next four potentially dangerous years, I will use my fear to guide me. Yet, my fear for what you might do with the next four years won’t stop me nor paralyze me, in fact it will be what reminds me to ask the right questions, read and stay current, speak out when I need to, and be more active politically than I have ever been. Just like the sawzall, you have the potential to do a lot of damage, a lot of people could be hurt, our environment negatively impacted, a woman’s reproductive freedom at risk, the poor disenfranchised further, the liberties of LGBTQA threatened, and our national security in peril.
I, and those like me, will use these next four years to be kinder, more aware, and more active in our local communities, standing with and along side those further disenfranchised by your mayhem. I personally won’t let you or your hateful views of those you don’t deem worthy change me in a negative way. I will be more patient, reflect greater compassion for all, and use all of the resources at my disposal, creative and financial, to deflect any threat you might spawn over these next four years. And I know I am not alone. Your luster for the dramatic, your gravitational pull towards hate only draws those guided by love and mercy closer together. We were dazed and confused for a moment, yet don’t take that as a sign that we will succumb to you or any destruction you may muster. We will be watching carefully, we will mobilize and yes we will be loud.
We will find solace and strength in the famous words of Haruki Marukami “When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” You may be a storm like we have yet to see in our life time, yet we will use this time to become a stronger America, one united in our founding principals adorned at the base of the statue of liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” For it is in these words that we find what has and will continue to make America truly great.
And to the rest of you, remember this life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Take it slow and steady, be gentle with yourself and stay hydrated.
Your Delightfully Urban Blogger