Make America Kind Again
The change I wish to see in the world is more love, kindness, and acceptance. I can only go from the bottom up and do what I can.
To be honest, I’ve been feeling way MEH lately. With the harsh political climate and the hot anguish pouring out of half of the nation, I feel like I’m out of words. Writing about bliss, rainbows, and unicorns seems unconstitutional and frankly naïve at this point.
I’ve struggled with what I can do on a day-to-day, real-life level to bring light and hope to the serious issues facing our country. Mostly, I just feel like a tiny, scared human who wants to eat a lot (I mean, a LOT) of comfort-food carbs.
I’ve avoided my trusty Mac and the white page because I knew the blinking cursor would haunt me, taunting me to find the bright side in the current great divide in our nation. This climate of fear and “us versus them,” the name-calling on both sides, the complete deterioration of civility and kindness. It’s like we’re all in the fetal position, succumbing to our base instincts of self-protection.
But it’s Thanksgiving, you say! It’s the holidays, and all is merry and bright!
In the hopes of resuscitating my own holiday spirit, I’m getting back to my base instincts (most of which sadly involve rainbows and unicorns). I’m going to hunker down, simplify, and do what I can. I’m going to focus on what I can control, what brings me joy, and how I can serve.
My mom has a button that says, “Make America Kind Again.” Hey, I can do that! I can be kind, and more importantly, I can teach my bull-headed, strong-willed seven-year-old to love more and sass less.
I can reward my son when he stands up for his sister or brings me a flower to cheer me up.
I can have a loving marriage (even when supremely effortful) so that my children will know what a healthy relationship looks like.
I can have an open mind and understand that most people just want to be heard. Everyone just wants to feel like their voice matters. I can listen and respect other people’s opinions and ideas, even when it pains me.
I can make my home a refuge of calm and acceptance.
I can find ways to serve others, whether it be through my work or through becoming more involved in my community. I can challenge myself and learn more. I have a renegade attorney friend, Dana, who signs off all her e-mails with the Gandhi quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” She lives it too, and I admire that so much. I can be more like Dana.
The change I wish to see in the world is more love, kindness, and acceptance. I can only go from the bottom up and do what I can. That’s all any of us can do.
That’s why this Thanksgiving, I’m going to cuddle on the couch with my blossoming, growing-like-Clifford-the-Big-Red-Dog nine-year-old son and smother him with kisses. I know that all too soon, he will rebuff my attempts to snuggle and wipe away my kisses with disdain. I’m going to look at his smooth face and giant blue eyes, celebrate his gentle spirit, and have faith and hope in our future.
That’s what I can do.