Saturday, January 21, 2017

Prayers and Politics

I have felt many emotions today, about the past, about our history, about the men who have been president of my country during my lifetime.  I am still very proud that the transfer of power in this nation happens in a peaceful manner, with neither bloodshed nor imprisonment.   

I am not an overtly political person. I am a patriot, I believe in Liberty, in the rule of Law, in Justice and in a government of the People, by the People and for the People.  

I am neither a pacifist, nor an anarchist.  I believe in peaceful resistance and the great privilege of voting as a preferred means of revolution without bloodshed. 

When I was younger, I fell in love with the idea of a revolutionary named Ernesto “Che” Guevara but, while I have a theoretical weakness for the idea of “the Revolutionary”, I do not believe in armed rebellion.  I have never aspired to be “Great” in that way.

I believe that it is my duty as a citizen to be prepared to defend my neighbors from terrorists and fascists, especially if they come in the night in the guise of agents of my own government. But truth be told, I fear that possibility, because I fear that I may not have the courage to act when the moment of Truth arrives.

I know a lot of people who are afraid of what the future holds because they believe that the President who was inaugurated today will bring about untold horrors.  I am afraid that if those horrors indeed come to pass that, I will fail to do what I believe to be right.

I also know a lot of people who are hopeful because they have felt unheard and unseen and they have been afraid that they will lose their homes, or that their children will be cold and hungry, or that their loved ones could die if they are unfortunate enough to become ill because they cannot afford to be treated.  People who work harder than they should have to and are one small misfortune away from losing everything. 

We all have experienced fear of the future because it cannot be known.  It is a natural human reaction to fear circumstances that we cannot control. 

But fear of the future, and anger and hatred of others, the idea that other human beings, fellow citizens of our nation and our world, are “the Enemy”, is not the way to create the world or the future that I want. 

Civility, discourse and the ability to walk in another man’s shoes are needed.  The ability to listen to another man’s story, and to see that he is in no way significantly different from me, is necessary.  Compassion, understanding and hope, and a healthy dose of courage and honor will be as essential as they have always been. 

I do not like the President’s immaturity, his egomania, or his very fluid relationship with the truth.  I vehemently disagree with just about everything he has said and done over the years.  But he is just a very flawed human. 

I can do many things to positively affect the course of the future.  Now is not the time for rioting in the streets. 

I will not be marching tomorrow, not because I do not want to, but because it is not within my abilities for various reasons.  I will be praying, and holding those who are marching in safety and power. 

I will also be praying for the new President over the next 4 years.  For him to be guided, and restrained as necessary, and for him to learn, and grow and change, as any flawed human is capable of.  He is a 70-year-old father and grandfather.  He is not my enemy and he is not a monster, just a very flawed human just like every human who has ever held power. 

May the Gods, the Ancestors and the Spirits guide him, bind him, and teach him as necessary.  And may We the people learn and grow and evolve through this process as well.

And if the horrors we fear should be visited upon us, may They grant me the courage to stand for what I believe to be right.  So mote it be.  

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