8 Nov 2016

What I Want

Posted by annmcolford

I’ve heard the raging talk this year, the shouted promises to “make America safe again,” and, after noting that safety and security are illusions, I must ask, “Safe for whom? Safe FROM whom?” I envision a world safe from demagogues with microphones, safe from bullies and those whose mouths know only contempt, safe from those so worried about losing their privilege that they’ll trample the vulnerable ones, safe from those who show no sign of conscience, safe from frightened people armed to the teeth. I want leaders who inspire rather than stoking fear, who work for the greater good, who open the door to our better selves, who understand that the “we” in “We the People” includes immigrants and brown people and women and hard-luck working men and people who pray five times a day. It includes abuelas and aunties, atheists and agnostics, baristas and bartenders, soldiers, cops, and EMTs, farmers and tech geeks, those with too much education and those with not enough, the punk kid down the block, and your grumpy uncle who always talks too loud. They’re all part of us, we the people, and we need them. We need the artists and storytellers, the ones who hold up a mirror to the rest of us, whose message we do not always want to accept. We need the comedians, God knows, to lighten our spirits and our burdens. But mostly we need to see each other, to smile, to say, “How ya doin’,” to offer a sip of water, a bit of food, a space to rest, a place that’s safe — safe, not because of who’s NOT here, but because of who IS here. This is the world I want.

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