Rambles and opinions and purging my headspace... this might not make any sense.
It's been a long, strange week.
I'm in strange spot, in the middle of vitriol on all sides, trying to wrangle some glimmering light out of what feels so chaotic, right now, to so many.
RE: Donald Trump. 45. POTUS.
I won't blither on too much, I've really got to get another episode of the Queen's Gambit in - oh, do watch it, it's excellent - but I want to say this:
I have a poet's heart and see all things as story-fodder. And here is how, despite so much hurt and frustration and all the rest of it, we can show some grace and yes - even gratitude - to this man.
He came into office when maybe, the people needed a serious kick in the pants. A wake-up call. Asleep at the wheel, lost in our devices and gadgets and gizmos and chats and scrolling and micro-video-making for clicks and likes and taps. We had been falling a bit asleep, a great many of us, numbed by the ever-pulsing hum of social media.
Can you remember life before 2008?
Wildly different, especially socially. What happened in 2008? Well, Facebook happened. I noticed the obsessive, addictive dangers when I first started playing FarmVille and would put off real-life things to tend to imaginary potatoes. I remember *almost* paying real money for virtual fence pieces to finish the level I was on. WHY? Instant validation and praise.
I digress. But we cannot deny that we live in a different world, now. Good and bad.
And I believe that we, the people, needed the snow globe shaken. We were walking into traffic obsessed with our feeds. Checking our likes and loves while driving. Our youth being bullied with embarrassing photos until they committed suicide. Becoming dependent on this fake love for validation that we're enough.
Fast forward. Trump gets elected - many cheer - many sit in utter shock wondering how in the hell it could've happened. How? Many chose not to vote. Meh... it doesn't matter anyway, I have a right not to vote. They don't represent me...etc... there's no good candidate...
And so, we ushered in the season of Trump. And while it gives me a stomach ache thinking of all the times his blatant disregard for decency and respect, his womanizing, his treachery, his offensiveness, and so on... he was, in fact, a catalyst.
...the dynamite that blew up and sprung us from our seats. We chose him?
But I have found a lot of peace in recent years, in the way of acceptance. In realizing that things just have to go how they go, because they can't not. And then... what's the lesson, the down n dirty meaningful bit of insight at the bottom of this... chaotic mess?
A tough one, to be sure.
But there is one. We are our nation. Government... is not some big, bad oppressor ruling over us - distant and apart, controlling and stealing from us.
This is the United States of America. Many states, united in a common purpose, sharing the same ideals and values, evolving together, over time. And we are a democratic republic, powered by our Constitution, a living document. We have representative government, that we elect, intentionally. Balance of power. Checks and balance. We choose.
"No determinations are carried, it is true, in a simple representative democracy, but by consent of the majority or their representatives..." John Adams
WE ARE OUR GOVERNMENT.
Just as we are not separate from our world, we are our world, and our world is us. We too are our country, our country is us. What is a country, but its people and places, united and organized under a premise, a belief, a purpose, an idea?
The era of Trump has shown us, in no uncertain terms, that we let go of the reigns. We expect and want and demand and blame, but the government is us. We choose. We find leaders and learn about their priorities and make decisions. If we can't find leaders, that should be a wake up call to start building them. Fostering a love of service. And returning to integrity within the system.
I am willing to bet that in years from now, we will look back at this moment in time, and see the shift. When we started to really care, again. That new leaders began to tingle and find shock and cracks in the "system," and wanted to get in there and speak their minds. Change it up. That our future, our lives, our country, these things belong to us - for us to believe in, to build upon, to sculpt, to fight for, to protect.
It's like a bad relationship that brings you to your lowest low, but afterward, you are changed. Stronger. Smarter. Wiser. Emboldened. And chart a better and more enlightened course.
And had we not experienced the era of Trump's administration, would we still be numb? Would we have fought this hard for change? Would we be in the streets? Would the wheel turn this much to force so many voters out in record numbers?
Would we have taken democracy back with such gusto, if it wasn't endangered?
You don't now what you've got until it's gone, they say. And to have that glimpse that we've had, can be life changing.
So, thanks Donald Trump. For showing us that glimpse. But it's time to return to service. We'll pay more attention now. We'll be more responsible. You can step down. We'll do better.