A Word or Two for 2017… for Starters
Oh Twenty-Seventeen, you worry me to the marrow of my bones. I fear you will see our National Parks sold off piecemeal to the highest bidders, our life-sustaining water contaminated by industry, even the air we breathe up for sale. Lies, politely called “fake news” or most horrifically “news,” splash across the media and are believed without skepticism. The country will be in the hands of an egotistical, bigoted, misogynistic, ignorant man-child. He isn’t surrounding himself with experts nor those with any history of caring about the issues over which they will wield power, the very opposite in fact. There is a low-brow yet fitting expression for what we are poised to witness, a real $h!+ show: our national treasures, consumed, digested, and excreted into a mound of steaming waste before our eyes. Policies can be reversed. Economic recovery happens. But ground water cannot be cleansed. Ancient forests cannot regrow. The wild natural beauty deliberately preserved for future generations of Americans cannot be remade. This destruction must be stopped before it begins.
To stop anything, we must know it’s happening. Get informed. Share that knowledge, with credible sources cited, everywhere. Put your Congresspersons’ numbers on speed dial and call them once a week. Your disapproval of their work can cost them their jobs. Your appreciation of their good work will move them to do more. Get your hands dirty locally for whatever cause you value and see is at risk.
This post began as an introduction to my Word of the Year for 2017, but even the two I was considering feel inadequate. I’m not a violent person. Violence is a last resort, a sinking to another’s level in self-defense. Yet, for those who are threatened, it comes to that. But I won’t begin the year with molotov cocktails and rage. However, 2017 may just require a quiver-full of words. To be and to do, let us begin here.
: capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture
: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change
Bend so you don’t break. Keep on keeping on. Get back up. Lean into it. Remember who you are and why you are doing this. It’s going to be a long hard ugly slog, but if the country you know and love is worth it, if tomorrow’s Americans deserve as much as we can save for them, hold the line.
When we are resilient, we have the power to act.
: make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of.
We must transform the situation, the culture, ourselves. Stand up to the ugliness. Shine a light in the darkness and cockroaches scatter. Transform your corner of the world. We cannot afford to look away. Bad things will happen if we do nothing. But everyone can do something.