I’ve commented before that it felt like 2016 was one of those landmark years that you’d be reading about in history books decades from now. 2017 is shaping up to be similar, and I’m a little glad.
If 2016 was the year everything fell apart, maybe, just maybe, 2017 is the year we put it back together. It’s still early, of course, and not everything that has happened has been good. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take work. But I believe that it will be worth it. I’m starting to believe it can be done.
Saturday certainly showed that.
Friday was a hard day for a lot of people. I managed to curb most of the anxiety by binge-watching Parks and Recreation and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. They both felt like terribly appropriate reminders. That goodness is more entertaining than meanness, especially in government, and that we have it in us to do great things when the time calls for it. But I have to admit last week felt like a slow descent, and by Friday I was feeling the heaviness.
I wrote in my journal earlier last week that I wanted God to show up, in some way, and prove that hope wasn’t a waste. A bygone version of myself would have hesitated to even think of asking that, as it seems like something you’re not supposed to ask. You’re not supposed to “dare” God. But I’m learning, (slowly, but I am), how to be bold in these things. I’m learning God doesn’t mind. God might even like it.
And, though I’m still waiting on God for a number of things, I have to admit: I know hope is not a waste. Saturday certainly showed that.
I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m usually hesitant to add my voice to things, especially things like this. Partially it’s anxiety, and partially I don’t want to be “that guy” who doesn’t think a conversation is complete until he sidles up and adds his two cents, usually preceded by the word “Actually…”
(We all know who I’m talking about.)
But I know this is not a time to be silent either.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
So, instead of drowning out the conversation with my own voice, and instead of remaining silent, I’m going to do this.
I’m going to make a promise.
My friend, and awesome, fellow blogger, Marissa Burdett had some amazing things to say about the March in her latest Ampersand Project recording. She also talked about showing up, about taking the next step, and holding each other accountable to that. And that’s what I want to do.
I want to take the next step, and I want to be held accountable to that.
So, I’m going to make a promise.
I’m going to show up. Because I understand the value of that, of letting my actions match my words, and that there are no sidelines anymore.
I’m going to listen. Because I know that’s what’s needed from me: listening and learning.
I’m going to encourage. Because, let’s face it, it’s what I’m good at, and the world could use a little more of it, couldn’t it?
I’m going to elevate the voices that matter. I went on a little retweeting spree on Saturday. I couldn’t help it, there were a lot of amazing things happening, and I know that’s one way, but by no means the only way, that I can center the voices that need to be heard, the ones that are often sidelined, ignored, and discounted.
I’m going to be a safe space. Because that’s what I want to be, that’s what I need to be. Because I’m believing that there’s someone out there that needs me to be.
I’m going to start with hope. Because that’s where this has to start. Great, good things are built on hope, not fear, not hate, Hope. God is a god of hope. So, if we are, if I am, going to start anywhere, it had better be with hope.
Because I know it’s not a waste. Saturday showed me that. The amazing women and people I’m so lucky to know showed me that. And I thank you.
All that to say, if you have a suggestion on what I can do to help, if you need some encouragement, or even a safe space, drop me a line.
And so is hope.