I took my teenage daughters to school this morning (Sonshine is home, sick), just a few minutes after learning the news of our new president from the radio. As a family we have been preparing for Mr. Trump for many months, but it still was a shock.
Months ago I vehemently considered moving my family to England, as a British national I have that right. But that was before I more deeply explored what living in this country means to me, and the possibility America affords, and also what it means to live democracy on a daily basis, democracy as an act I consciously contribute to… daily.
We have talked about what democracy is, what it aspires to be, and that an election is only one way democracy attempts itself.
This morning, on the drive we talked about it some more. I told them that today is a day for listening, and that deep listening is a democratic act.
Then we talked about our prayers. We can act in our power by choosing to pray for humility to wash over Mr. Trump. That we should be thankful so many of his warts, flaws and fears are transparent. And that we as a country, can help heal him and all us with similar hidden and outward expressions of fear (racism, elitism, bullying, etc.) by using our love and deep listening to the pain, and of course our individual and collaborative creativity.
Then I felt a panic feeling come over me, dropping them off at the door, questioning (in my heart) their safety at school… well anywhere really. I reasoned with myself: Dropping the children off at school today is a democratic act. Mothering (and fathering) is a democratic act.
We shall overcome. One foot in front of the other. Breathing. Listening. Hurting. Learning. Forgiving. Remembering that people and countries can and do change. Continuing on. Loving forward. We will make this new story, together.
(photo of our daughters standing in front of Abe Lincoln memorial, on the very spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr loved into being our “I Have a Dream” speech.)