Posted by: Ken A Locke | November 9, 2016

Strained, Yet Not Broken

Politicians – take the day off.  Now more than ever we need our creative genius to make sense of this.  We need painters, writers, musicians, dancers, storytellers – all artists to step forward.  Show us what we’ve done.  Tell us a story about who we are.    Court Musicians, sing us a song that binds us together and reminds us why we live next to each other.  Put a smile on our faces, give us a reason to hold another’s hand, show us how to stand tall.

This piece of music was written upon our entrance into the 2nd World War, and in homage to us, the little people.

Fanfare for the Common Man – Copland

“This was not judgement day – only morning.  Morning, excellent and fair.” William Styron, in Sophie’s Choice, a novel of the Holocaust.

This last line of the novel, as well as the last line of the movie, is spoken by Stingo, the young Southern gentleman in love with Sophie.  He had just found Sophie, the Polish immigrant, and Nathan, the Jewish manic-depressive, dead together in suicide.  And while it may have been “only morning” for the Southerner, I must point out that the other two characters in the story, an immigrant and a mental patient, did not feel safe enough to face another dawn.  THOSE two are who I want to feel safe.  We CAN do that.  WE can.  We must move forward, put down the dictionary of politics, and pick up the book that describes ‘loving others’.

We, the safe, MUST extend that safety to those in this country who are in fear today and in the coming days.   I am, through no fault of my own, one of the demographic that is least threatened by this win.  But, because I claim everyone as “my people”, MY PEOPLE need defending today.  I plead with you to rally as one group and support the Republic.  Everybody join in the circle.  Don’t cheer and don’t boo; just re-form.  Re-form so we all have a place in the circle.

It may very well be that we will only see the ‘benevolent dictator’, the ‘enlightened despot’, now that there is no longer a competition.  My hope is that the ‘king’ continues to live by our constitution rather than the whims that are so common with historical royalty. Larger than that, my hope is that we continue to value each other.  As family.

If there is a way to fix the budget, improve the trade deals, rebuild the infrastructure -WITHOUT DAMAGING people or their spirits – then I want that.  People are always more essential than things.  Lives are always more important than the checkbook.  Love is the biggest key to unity.

And a humble note of caution to my Jesus-believing friends, we have a LOT of loving to do and a LOT of judgmental gloating to stop.  Our days as servants should begin and end with grace.  There’s little need for judgment or pride or preening as a result of this election.  There is a massive need for grace, love, hope, inclusion.

My hope is that we see graciousness from every 2nd person in this country; that is, everyone who claims victory today.  That is ONE out of every TWO of us.  The OTHER of that two calls this a despairing defeat.   I also note that many who count themselves losers in this election are not ready to trust or rally or work together or believe.  That’s OK; please take the time you need.   (There will be plenty of time for political analysis – turn that off for now.)  I trust that ‘the collective we’ will hold the circle open for you.  Could we please wear our hearts on our sleeves and could we all honor that vulnerability?   Leave the next few days to hearts, minds, spirits.  Honor the tears you see on people’s faces, for that is the sign of sincerity in an age of freedom.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” Abraham Lincoln, in his First Inaugural Address.

“We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” – Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech.

“We go forward with the presumption of good faith.  Now, we are all rooting for his success.”  President Obama, in remarks about the election.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together.   I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me.” President-elect Trump, in his victory speech.

A word of thanks to all the Veterans who made this free election possible.  All of them have defended and will continue to defend your and my right to speak our mind and vote our conscience.  Thank you.  I have every confidence that every soldier in a uniform of the USA will defend each and every one of us.  Every single one.  Thank you.

You and I have assurances to speak – to our children, our neighbors, our detractors.  You and I have Americans to stand with – minorities, LGBTQ’s, those of other faiths, those of no faith, the poor, the rich, the well, the sick.

This is not rocket science.  At the end of the day, we stand together.

 


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