Hello strangers. I've missed you. I won't bore you with the details of my busy life and unexpected hiatus. (Pishhh... It's really that I was soooo hooked on True Blood, that I wasn't really able to get anything else done. But now it is in hiatus, and I am back from decadent indulgence. I missed you.)
Instead, my mind is focused with a wide angle lens, on the world beyond my usual macro view. Echoing in my ear is the quiet cadence of unlikely inspiration. Years ago there was a commercial on television, for cotton of all things. A long line of children bounced, walked, and sauntered through a crosswalk in a large busy city, all holding onto a rope, led by an adult. The voiceover said something to the effect of "...we won't get there if we don't get there together." It gave me chills every time I heard the words. Even as I fully acknowledge that I was being manipulated by advertising, that these words were meant to take money from my wallet and put it in theirs, I got goose bumps.
Even now, I hear those words and they help illustrate a fundamental belief that helps me to make sense of the world (because really, aren't we all just trying to do that every moment of everyday?). Do you mind if I share it with you?
When racism breaks my heart, when greed and politics break my heart, when we are led into a moral abyss by monsters of self interest my heart breaks. But the one thing I know that helps is knowing that we are all in this together.
It might not sound comforting, and I'm even trying hard to remember exactly why it is a good thing. I don't want to hate my fellow human, even as I hate the things they do. I don't want to fight anyone, or hope for their death. I don't want steam roll them, tar and feather them, hang them from the highest tree, take them out back and let them have what for... I feel these things, but I don't want to.
My salvation from becoming that person is in knowing that we, none of us, can get anywhere ahead of where we are, if we do not all come along or fall away. I feel, in the deepest parts of my being, that we are all nerves, organs, cells, of the same body. What breaks your heart touches me. What scares me, what restricts her, what holds him down, impairs your freedom, my freedom, our freedom... freedom to be better than who and what we are today.
I know it's not even remotely revolutionary, what I'm talking about. It's been said over and over again.. by Aborigines, by the Dalai Lama, Native Americans... many many people, far wiser than I.
But I mention it because, for the first time (I was going to say in the last few years, or in my adult life, but really I think it's the first time ever), when I saw a multi-ethnic, black, young, honest, inspiring man win, in a landslide, the office of the President of the United States... I knew something had happened.. something had changed.. that we all took a giant, mother-may-I, leap forward into a world of hope and compassion and honor.
To say that I'm excited is, well, the silliest of understatements. But, as I always am, I'm frightened into restraint. A little red horned devil appears on my shoulder, with most good turns in my own life, an threatens assassination of my joy if I revel in it too much. That little dude is powerless I know, but he's got a convincing hold on me.
Still, I wave a little flag, with stars and stripes, and a giant letter O. We can't get there if we don't get there together. I think, we are on our way.