BY JONI TAKANIKOS
November 30, 2016
The following blog post reflects my own views and opinions on the current political atmosphere. I would much rather have written about something more beautiful and reflective of our island life, but while we live on an island, we remain connected to the world at large, and for me personally, grappling with this unfolding perspective is foremost on my mind.
I find myself unable to translate the current political situation we find ourselves in. We have never been so divided along the lines of how we perceive right and wrong, both morally and politically. There is also so much “news” being published by Facebook and other media outlets that has no connection to facts.
I am finding it difficult to find the “silver lining,” but I am on the lookout for it, however hidden it may be right now. There are glimpses of truth lighting our way, that can — and never will be — overlooked. The grace and statesmanship of President Obama is revelatory. He is creating, through his words and actions, a stream of compassion and power we can all follow. I am also waking up to my own blindness and inaction towards our government. It is time that we took the reins of our governance in hand, which requires strong and compassionate leadership. These future leaders will rise and are rising.
Obama has said he looks forward to becoming a regular citizen again, so that he may speak his mind more frankly and get back to his activist roots. Let’s all dare to fulfill the promise of our amazing, deeply flawed, and young nation. Young people everywhere are galvanized to take action on injustice, and those of us who remember the sixties are looking at ways to do the same. We have needed to wake up from the comfort of our own bubbles and realize that this election has pulled back the veil on racism, misogyny, and a general fear of anyone who is different. Education itself has been decried by many in our electorate as having the potential to create a flawed character. Flaws in character, I believe, are part of the stratosphere of all humans.
When we quit trusting those among us who study our world to seek a deeper understanding of our human experiences, we may then become truly ignorant and thus unwilling and unable to take into account the experiences of others. Reality television, and one of its stars, have become a player on the world stage. I know I’m not alone in being scared by that vision of reality. There has never been a more important time than the present to awaken our highest and best dreams for our world, our country, and our communities. I am looking at ways to re-educate myself on the ways in which my government works and exploring all the pathways toward making my voice heard. I plan to keep organizations like the ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, and many courageous and compassionate programs thriving through my contributions and involvement.
I also want to support the Standing Rock protesters. Maybe this is the beginning of other similar Standing Rock protests across our country, wherever the natural environment may be threatened by the blindness of corporate greed. I want to wrap my arms around the environment and protect the waters of this country alongside the mountains, canyons, deserts, and forests. Wherever and whenever I encounter racism and intolerance, I will stand up and say, “No more!” I hope I am part of a future in which we never let someone who is running for political office be given free rein to spout lies, bigotry, and the incitement of violence. Freedom of speech cannot equal hate-mongering. This political climate we find ourselves in was created by all of us, and we all share the responsibility of creating a more transparent government that listens to the will of the people.
The day after the election, it took my twenty-five-year-old son to remind me that Hillary won the popular vote! The majority of our country voted to elect our first woman president. I remain proud of our country with all of its shadows and flaws, and now that we have exposed some of its deepest wounds, we can begin to take the necessary actions to cleanse those wounds before more infection is spread.
“Justice is power correcting everything that stands against love.” – Martin Luther King
“Hope springs eternal, even in politics.” – Gwen Ifill
Joni Takanikos appreciates all the perspectives of our diamond-like culture, as long as those perspectives do not stand against love – love of our world, our country, all our lands, and our fellow citizens.
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