I wish it need not have happened in my time, said Frodo.
So do I, said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
Today, and every other day, I decide to choose love, in whatever form it takes.
I decide to choose tolerance, intentionally and purposefully loving those who are not like me (but I will not let intolerance stand unchecked).
I decide to choose kindness, even when it is not shown to me.
I decide to hope and pray that our new President finds humility and wisdom, and that he is able to check his ego for the sake of the country (but shit, someone take away his Twitter before he gets us all killed).
I decide to cheer and champion for President Trump, praising him when he does well, but holding him accountable when he doesn’t.
I decide to be hopeful, because fear is what brought us to this place.
I decide these things because patriotism is about country, not the President. Politicians have never been the life force of America: the people have. And while hatred and vitriol abound, kindness and hope are among us still. The people — normal people, you and I and our co-worker and our neighbor — we make things happen. We make the differences and we control the country. Not them. They work exclusively for us, and the day they forget that will be a day of reckoning for a nation fed up with being ignored, placated, and shunned by the people it elected to represent us.
I decide that since the sun still rose today, I may as well enjoy it.
I sure hope you’ll think about joining me in making your decisions, too.
A couple of notes–
⇒ Kindness is not reactionary. Your own kindness does not depend on anyone else’s actions. No one controls your actions but you. As one of my literary idols said, God damn it, you’ve gotta be kind. No conditions, no excuses. Be kind to those you encounter.
⇒ Go take the People’s Oath. When Donald takes his, we take ours. I plan to take my oath seriously. I hope Donald does the same.
⇒ Drink some champs. Drink the whole bottle. Because we’re still running and we’re still surviving. No matter how we disagree, America has continually, peacefully transitioned power from one leader to the next for 200 years. I don’t agree with who we’ve given the power to, but for the sake of perspective, this is still an incredible feat and an incredible day.
Get out there and celebrate, babies. It’s Day #1, and we’re all still here.