Most images I have seen of Sisyphus rolling that boulder up a mountain were images of hopelessness. No other side offers even the possibility of achievement of the crest and descent without being flattened. So when I found this one today, with its up-slope and down-slope, it seemed to offer the hope that we, unlike Sisyphus, might get some relief. And, like Sue, I have to do what I can to nurture some semblance of a positive outlook on the future.
A Sisyphean task
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
Even when the votes are tallied, and the winner announced there will be more waiting. When Biden prevails (I first wrote, “If Biden prevails, but I must maintain a positive view to survive), how long will Trump hold us hostage? Days, weeks—or more? I cannot even imagine the other alternative. While I sit contemplating the pain caused by one narcissistic man, I realize that there are many to blame. All of those who went along with his agenda or voted for him carry an equal amount of responsibility. And now, before the country can right the wrongs, we will have to fight to keep our democracy.
Narcissism and sociopathy breed a certain kind of horror. When someone believes and avows that he is always right, despite evidence to the contrary, and entices others into his belief system, it seems to snowball. We see it often in places of worship where a charismatic leader can garner adulation, no matter how brittle their feet of clay.
One can try arguing with a narcissist/sociopath, but it is a Sisyphean task. I think those civil servants who went to work for Trump thought they would be able to persuade him to listen, but up against Trump they were never heard or heeded and, hence, Trump did what Trump wanted. He continues to do that in the face of likely defeat. He spouts baseless claims of fraud and misdeeds. One can only hope and pray that Donald J. Trump will receive his comeuppance and will leave the White House in January and allow our country to heal and return to civility.
Then the repair work must begin. More than five hundred children need to be reunited with their families. We must restore our standing in the Paris Accord and re-establish the regulations that aim our country toward the remedies for climate change. Immigration and DACA must be dealt with in a compassionate and welcoming way. The worsening pandemic will require a seminal shift in the country.
Moving the country towards reconciliation seems as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest, but I believe it can happen. There has always been a divide, but it was one that was often spanned with a bridge of friendship and camaraderie and love of country. Biden has done that before and now we must all build the bridges anew.
Hope was beginning to feel like a foreign concept. But I have always been an optimist, so the spark was still there glowing, waiting for combustion. I know there are a lot of people like me and there will be a renewed sense of duty to country because we will finally have a leader who is going to ask us to dig in and help him. Not worship him, not swear loyalty to him, but to love our democracy. We should not forget how so many people have been bludgeoned by Trump into believing their fellow Americans are out to take what they have. Hard work ahead to undo that fear. But we can do it.
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