Maybe the other shoe will surprise us and be a manifestation of healing. One can always hope. But, in the meantime, I share Sue’s anxiety.
The other shoe
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
It is the 16th of January. Trump will be out of office by noon on the 20th. Just four more days. The virus continues to surge, two million have died worldwide (may they rest in peace), but thankfully the vaccine roll out is happening, albeit slowly. However, after the insurrection on the 6th of January and all the reports of coming violence, it is difficult for me to hold a positive image. The days are interminably long and fraught with fear and anxiety, and the nights aren’t any better. One would think that this Biden/Harris supporter would be overjoyed, but instead I wait for the other shoe to drop—or more like Imelda Marcos’ entire shoe collection to drop.
Trump and the Republican Party’s embrace of the white supremacists and secessionists and Anti-Semitic groups has enabled those groups to network, raise money and loosely connect, brought them more brazenly out into the public’s eye and helped them grow. They used Trump as much as he did them. He needed more votes, and they needed someone to give them an excuse to further their agenda. Of course, I think their agenda was his as well as it is one of power and hatred.
As a young woman I lived through the violence and horrors as our country tried, yet again, to right the wrongs of racism in the 1960s. Laws were enacted, Ruby Bridges and others integrated schools with the help of escorts, voting laws changed; the reality, however, is that even though there were some outward manifestations of increased equality, attitudes remained unchanged. People continued to teach hatred in their homes, their schools and their pulpits. The laws were not enough and hate festered.
If this country is to survive, we must find a way to cut the roots of that hatred. In our homes, schools, churches, and temples, we must teach the most basic of lessons: how to communicate, how to listen and how to love, not just with our family and friends but across the whole marvelous spectrum of humanity. But how?
I do not have an answer on how to heal our country or this world. Believe me, I wish I did. I can imagine a time when the virus will, finally, be tamed. I can even imagine there will be a cure for cancer. But the battle of good versus evil goes on and on and on. In the face of incredible hatred, it is crucial that each of us take full responsibility for doing what we can individually. Namely to live a life of openheartedness, to do good deeds and to spread kindness and respect wherever we go.
May peace and justice prevail.