13 Nov We the People: How the Light Gets In
“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
– Leonard Cohen
Hey friends, this past week has been one of the most polarizing and unsettling weeks I think I can remember, and frankly, I don’t know what else I can add to the topic, however, it is all that has consumed my brain capacity this week, and thus, all I can muster as important enough to write about for this week.
While I primarily intend to use this blog to talk about global traveling and general adventuring, the topics that really well up inside of me are often those ideas of living that the aforementioned inspires. Thus, I find that the underlying premise of this blog is a snapshot into my own processing and, ultimately, understanding (to some degree) of what is going on around me.
From my Perspective
All “ideas” I share are informed and derived from my fortunate position as a white, Christian, middle-class, highly privileged male. Despite not having voted for Trump or Hillary, I have felt guilt from the vitriol of those accusing my demographic as contributing to last Tuesday’s results, and simultaneously, I have felt the pain, brokenness, and fear of my community here in Denver that overwhelmingly supported Hillary. Needless-to-say, there is a lot of pain on both sides of the spectrum, manifesting in hate, bitterness, and slander, and yet, despite it all, while my heart hurts with so many, I have abundant hope in our future.
We the People
I know expressing such optimism is a sensitive thing right now, but please hear me out: While I, too, have very little hope in our Government currently, I have great hope and optimism based on what I’ve seen, read, and experienced this week in each of us. In the face of racism, I’ve seen people of all races marching through downtown Denver elbow-to-elbow in solidarity, peacefully protesting an outcome none of them wanted. In the face of fear of deportation, I have seen friends organize an event championing immigrants and refugees in our community. I have been called to action by many friends who are turning their pain and anger into positive action by donating to organizations benefitting those communities they are most concerned about. In the face of division, I am seeing people on the opposite sides of the spectrum having difficult, uncomfortable, and deeply meaningful conversations regarding their differences in perspectives, without it turning into a social media bloodbath.
In short, I am seeing intentional and personal actions of unity, solidarity, and connection peeking through, and that gives me cause for hope. “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
I believe in We the People and our ability to connect, protect, and care for one another regardless of what our government does or doesn’t do. Ultimately, WE are the ones that hold the power, and I am seeing that power manifesting in positive action all around me. We need more people to join in with tangible genuine action. This is not a call to protest the (for better or worse) legal and legitimate political victory, but instead, a call for our decency as humans to trump our political affiliations and ideology, in benefit of those marginalized around us.
Brothers and sisters, I think this is a time we’re all looking at things more clearly, so let’s ask ourselves, who are we really fighting against? What are we all really fighting for? I think we have a lot more in common than we realize, so let’s continue the process of really listening to each other and finding common ground and mutually beneficial solutions. Let’s not be afraid to have vulnerable conversations about our individual pains which lead us to such passionate disagreements. I’m reminded of the following excerpt which was spoken from the bloody field in Gettysburg, yet rings true today:
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I know there are many divides, painfully deep, that will take much time to heal. However, I am encouraged to see so many in my immediate community reaching out to those near them and personally taking action to bring about the world they believe in into their own neighborhood. This is a true vision into the heart of what has and always will make American truly great: a love for our neighbor and fostering a place of unencumbered freedom and prosperity for ALL.