Virulence and Values

Photo by Jill Wellington / Pixabay

Politics weren’t central to my upbringing and though I’ve never been an activist myself, what I’ve seen in recent months has shocked me to the core.

As the recent events surrounding the insurrection at our Capitol unfolded, my thoughts went to some people I have loved and lost, grateful that they hadn’t lived long enough to witness this shameless act of domestic terrorism. I wondered about the effect news coverage of this and discussions around the dinner table, have on our children. Don’t they have enough to cope with already? For the most part, they’ve been socially isolated from friends and family members outside the home—some have lost their homes to wildfires or pending foreclosures—many of their families are struggling with financial insecurity, and school is still only a virtual experience. Their world has been upside down for months. Yes, we need to encourage our kids to know their rights, use their voices and advocate for those things they are passionate about, nonviolently.

And how can we explain the disparity we saw in the law enforcement response to rioters in Washington, DC versus protesters supporting Black Lives Matter?

Watching the events on January 6, 2021, I also couldn’t help but recall the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the aftermath that followed. I remember getting ready for work that morning as the early news reports began trickling in, and my sense of disbelief, first thinking a commercial airplane had veered off course and crashed into the World Trade Center. Then, the reality struck. Instead of driving to the office, I went to my parents’ home to check on them. Both approaching their seventies at the time, they were huddled together on their bed, watching the horror on TV unfold.

I’m grateful that when my mother passed, eight years later, she was able to be in her own home in the care of her family. She didn’t live to see the day we would need to defend democracy from ourselves.

Our country’s death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 376,000. Vaccines are being distributed and hope is on the horizon.

We are eight days away from inaugurating the new president of the United States. We need to come together, begin the repair work and make America proud.

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