These are hard times. In the United States, and around the world, people are turning toward their darker selves, shoring up their own walls—metaphorical and real. In the United States and around the world, people are letting themselves be guided by fear. As a result, people are becoming more extreme in their actions and reactions, more brash, more intolerant, more prone to believe the most hysterical and fact-free rhetoric.
I know this because I am guilty of it. I am in fear of where this country and the world would go at the hands of Donald Trump, and as a result, I feel more desperate, angry and helpless. I feel inclined to build my own walls, allowing in only those that would not subjugate our world to Trump’s brand of acerbic leadership. I feel inclined to shake people until their minds are clear of hate-radio, and hate-TV and conspiracy theories that tell them they can trust no one ever at any time at all.
In a race between moving forward together
Or moving backward divided
How can anyone be undecided?
I feel inclined to lecture them about the tenets of their religion which says, love. LOVE LOVE LOVE, GOD DAMNIT. Don’t denigrate, don’t race bait, don’t treat women and minorities as prepositions in a sentence that lacks any nouns. Don’t treat knowledge as a sin, and sin as a road block. Don’t hate. Don’t believe anyone when they say we are not better when we work together. Don’t believe anyone when they say you are alone.
I don’t know. I have no answers, only experience. And my experience is that dark and narrow paths often just get darker and more narrow. They often tighten in on you, making it difficult to see, much less turn around. And they make it impossible to walk at someone’s side. It’s always a game of Follow-the-Leader on those narrow paths. Always a game of blind trust.
I prefer my paths to be wide. I prefer having people at my side. And I prefer, when I look out, to not only be able to see where I have been, but also have a good look at all the places I have yet to go.