Inauguration of Change!
Well, everyone is braced for a shitshow today. After what happened on the 6th, anything can really happen. I guess we all got to experience what it might be like to be a minority in this country...senseless violence, targeting because of your race, failure to see basic human rights as equal. For me, what happened on the 6th of January was a pulling back of the pretty veneer that our country has varnished over the framework upon which we were built. We got to January 6th by stepping all over the civil and basic human rights of others. This entire country was built upon movements and agendas that have always supported and empowered white men to maintain the control they have always had. I do not fault them for this, they have always had it and the rest of us have had to fight to get a seat at the table. I understand that when you have the power, no one wants to give that up. And if I were white men, I would be very worried about sharing the power considering how they got the power and kept the power all these years...
However, what I believe what is happening today is a great tide of change. Today for the first time the leadership of our country is more representative of the country that it leads. Today both genders are represented and with that juxtaposition, I pray that there is an acknowledgement of the continuum of gender. Today a white and a non-white person will take over the leadership of our nation. And I pray that this will further the continuum of power, race and equality. For me, today, Kamala gives voice to the voiceless. She brings a sympathetic ear to women, minorities and to a call to action that has been alive in this country for at least a century.
Today as Kamala and Joe take the oath of office, I hope they do so with all of us in mind. The weak, the powerful, the inconsequential, the immigrant, the black, the white, the gay, the straight, the female, the male and all the variants of all of the above. I hope today that our newly elected and hard fought for leaders take the laboring oar to show us how to see each other as more human and less other centered. I hope they find a way to cut through all the DC politics and bullshit and find a common thread, no matter how tenuous, for everyone to see that we are first human and next American. And let that be the foundation for the next four years. Let’s start by ensuring that all humans are treated with respect, dignity, love and value. Let’s ensure that we honestly look at the inequities within the racial divide. Let’s look at the sexism and racism and sexual orientation inequities. Let’s call them out, continue to peel back the veneer on this relic of a country.
I pray that if we continue to peel back this varnished version we have been peddling for so long, we can see that what is underneath is a beautiful natural wood base that mixes together all the colors, all the genders, all the people and finds a way to unify together into this amazing hard wood that has been damaged by the blood soaked veneer. I pray that what we find underneath is still salvageable. I pray that our leaders are not afraid to get their hands dirty and do the hard work to examine the damage and begin reparations. I think it all has to begin with honesty about who we really are as a nation, what we have done and how we got here.
I offer up the Twelve Step worlds' Twelve Steps as a guide for our leaders...a kind of massive national inventory that will all begin with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. Next we will have to really admit our powerlessness over what has happened and how we got here. We have to see that they way we have always done it has caused an unmanageability that is literally killing people in a systemic and state sanctioned manner. We next have to see that they way we have been doing things is nuts. It has created the insanity that foments all around us with hate mongering and violence. Next we have to come to believe that some basic goodness can right this shitshow and become willing to turn our will and our lives over to their care. For me, today the representatives of this power are our newly elected government.
I believe that all those in power need to engage in a moral inventory of first themselves, then encourage us all to do this, on an individual level. Then incorporate that into a community inventory, then a regional, then statewide, then national inventory. How exactly are we living life here in the USA? Let’s identify what is rotten and what is life affirming.
Let’s be willing to share these things we learn about ourselves, our communities, our regions and our country at large with each other. Let’s eradicate the shame we feel for our participation in less than stellar behavior and speak it. Let’s just get it out in the open...seems like a little sunshine down in the festering wound of the soul of our nation would do a bit of good.
Next let’s take a moment to reflect on how we got to this point. Then let’s endeavor to link up to loving kindness or some sort of spiritual benevolence (we do not have to agree what that looks like just that there is some sort of universal goodness in this world upon which we can build from here) and see that without spiritual principles of honesty, trust, faith, responsibility, hope, courage, acceptance, humility, forgiveness, discipline, patience and a true desire to serve, we are all fucked.
Let’s inventory the past and see where we were wrong, individually and as a nation. Let’s identify who we hurt and why. And what we can to do to make it right. And then do so. While endeavoring to continue to root out the causes of our bad behavior and not allowing it to fester any longer. Our shiftiness has to be continually addressed, daily. Each of us being responsible to the whole for, on a daily basis, checking in with ourselves and righting what we did wrong and honoring that which we did well. Let’s all do this together every single day.
Let’s all find some sort of divinity of goodness in this life. Let’s pray to that on an individual basis for the collective good of all. Then let’s come together to serve. It matters not what your fellow servers look like, who they want to partner with or not, it matters only that we have all been saved from the literal hell that almost engulfed us. We were all just saved from the shipwreck that was Trump. Let’s act like it. Let us all celebrate the victory over tyranny and hate. Let’s all, if even just for today, be happy and loving and gentle with this life.
Perhaps you think me naive, or perhaps just plain stupid in my suggestion. But I have seen the above manner of living change totally wrecked humans into productive, vital and loving people. I have seen the dregs of humanity altered into loving souls with one true desire, to help another wrecked and lost soul find the way out like we did. If it can work on addiction, why can’t it work on politics? I know it can, but I also know that the work is hard and arduous and time consuming. And most people won’t do the work unless they are beaten into a state of reasonableness. Well, I ask, aren’t we there? Didn’t Trump just accomplish that with his attempt to overthrow the government? And if that isn’t enough for you, then what in fuck’s sake is?
So today, regardless of Joe and Kamala’s stated agenda, I am going to inaugurate a new ideology in American politics, a path for accountability and I am going to let it begin with me. We can be the light, we really can, but to allow the light to really shine we have to deal with the darkness in us all. And we can only do that in our individual hearts and minds. So today on this most auspicious day, let’s all ensure that when anyone reaches out for help, for understanding, for comfort, that we all see that it is our individual response that will change the tides of politics. It all starts with us; we are the ones that brought new leadership to the forefront today. Let’s remember that it continues with us, as we all bear a personal responsibility and accountability for how we got here, how we change and how that happens in first ourselves and then the world at large. If I can’t change me, then how can I ever change you? Today, I inaugurate within myself a new systemic manner of change. And I know with every fiber of my being, it works, if you work it. And I know this country is worth it. Let freedom ring...