I have been silent in the blogosphere lately. When I sat down to get back to it, I looked at my post from a year ago, and I was struck by an uncanny resemblance to how I am feeling today. Last year at this time we experienced the Paris bombing and the beginning of the surge of Syrian refugees fleeing violence and persecution at home. I was reeling from events then, as I am reeling now, and some of what I wrote seems so appropriate I decided to re-post a couple of sections of it:
We are asked not to turn away from the world, but to stay engaged to it from a position of gratitude. Waking in the morning glad to simply be alive. Focusing on the miracle of our bodies, that our hearts are pumping blood to the rest of our system, that our limbs, creaky and stiff as they may be, support us and allow us to stand, work, give, embrace.
As our country is waking to the reality of our divided nation in the wake of the Presidential election, so much feels broken. Low voter turnout, rural versus urban voting patterns, racism, misogyny, winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote, campaign finance, and the 24-hour internet news cycle and confirmation bias, all point to the alienation and disenfranchisement so many feel. Fears of deportation, hate crimes on the rise, potential loss of civil liberties. Deep deep divisions in families, among neighbors, in communities and across the states. So many fears. So much anger. So much unrest.
Last year, I wrote this as an antidote:
I can’t help but think of our broken world and the changes in our hearts and minds we need in order to heal. I don’t believe the answer is to shut our borders and stay home. I am inspired by some of the responses I see by young people around the world, and I am committed to educating myself to remove blinders.
I still feel very much the same way. I believe there is hope, even if some can’t see it yet. I believe we need to listen to each other, and seek common ground Where we can find it. I see hopeful signs of people rising up, reinvigorated to act, to donate to causes they care about, to fight for justice, to protect what is in danger, and to seek peace. It will take all of us, working together, reaching out to those with the greatest need and refusing to accept injustice.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us feel the pain of our divided nation, let us say prayers of hope and healing, let those of us who have much reach out of our comfortable lives to those with more to lose, let us educate ourselves, stay vigilant, and work toward a better future. Global education has never been more important.