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POINT OF VIEW: Hope

hope - pixabay

Covid19 is ravaging the country. Our main business is suffering, especially the travel-related part. Our country has just gone through an attempted insurrection, and more Trump pardons are on the horizon. I should be devastated.

And yet…

I feel a strange peace. A weird feeling that I’m not entirely comfortable with, as it goes against the rough grain of all that I have experienced these past four years.

Hope.

It’s been nine days since I last heard the phrase “President Trump tweeted.” I don’t think I’d realized until now what an ongoing psychic abuse I felt every time someone uttered that phrase. It was as if our malignant President had a direct line into my brain, where he could poke and prod at the sore spots whenever he wanted to, lighting up my fight or flight response like a Roman candle.

I don’t mean to minimize the experiences of survivors of actual physical and emotional abuse. But this was an abuse of sorts, an unwanted intrusion into my headspace that went on every single day for four-plus years.

Now, all of a sudden, that voice has gone silent.

I can still feel the wounds in my head, the rawness underlying my day-to-day life.

I am damaged. We are damaged. Our country is damaged, some fear beyond the possibility of repair.

But now that the voice has gone away, I have space in my life to let in a little light again, to look forward to the time when Mark and I are not defined by these four walls that have been our prison for the last ten months. Space to realize that we as a people are no longer limited in the scope of what’s possible by the impossibly small mind of a malignant narcissist.

Space to see that a beautiful, vibrant, society-encompassing change might be coming.

I didn’t choose Joe Biden. I wanted a new voice, someone different – a woman, a gay man, a person of color, someone younger than his 78 years.

I wanted radical change and the chance to throw it in the face of my enemies, to make them pay for the searing pain they have inflicted on me and mine these past four years.

And I’m pretty sure Biden’s mission of unity is a fool’s errand. I can’t forget how they spat on President Obama when he held out a hand of reconciliation, and how those first two years of his presidency changed everything that has come since.

And yet…

Biden makes me want to dream of an America as it should be. As it should have been. He makes me want to aspire to be more than this smoking, smoldering collection of hatred and resentments, bitter retaliations and angry recriminations.

Maybe, just maybe, there’s still a path forward for all of us. We’ve been through the crucible and have come out the other side. Maybe we’ve proven ourselves worthy of grace.

As we stand here between what has been and what is still to come, I’m wrapping that hope around me like a talisman.

In two days, the paradigm shifts. In the sudden silence, I can hear the world again, in all its messy diversity and glory.

What comes next is up to all of us.

I have hope.

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3 thoughts on “POINT OF VIEW: Hope”

  1. An excellent honest and realistic article which I think strikes at the heart of the matter and summarises our tragic situation. It’s okay to have hope but to temper it with wisdom and the brutal truths we’d like to ignore, but which remain whether we want to see them or not. Turning away and blindly wishing Bad Things won’t or can’t happen isn’t a strategy to stop them.

    But that doesn’t mean hope is pointless or worthless. In fact hope is one of the greatest powers we can have, and essential to building a better future, because if you (plural, not picking on you) have no hope then you’re not likely to find or build solutions, and instead let others push their agendas and self-interest.

    Let’s not forget as you poignantly point out that the relentless cascade of bad news has to a great extent drowned out any good news and ruined our hopes and dreams of a better, more progressive, inclusive and caring society. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen though – if we have hope we can share it with ours, grow it, nurture it and from create and shape a better future. In part shaped by stories like yours that demonstrate our potential.

    I too have (cautious) hope and believe that we can return to the path towards the future you mention, I’d like to think (as secular humanist) that despite the huge partisan rift, most people are or can be rational and reasonable towards others. This comes with work though, we have to make it happen as it won’t develop on its own.

    Thank you for your kind words and sharing hope.

    It may or may not be allowed as overly political but I will just leave this here: #AOC2024 🙂

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