I hope everyone had their seat-belts tightly fastened over the past few weeks in the USA – it has been a wild and crazy ride! From loud and nasty political fights, to weird and wicked weather patterns, we have been on a roller coaster together. Whether you were personally impacted by any of the events, or just watched it unfold on TV, the effects are far-reaching.
As scary as some of the angry rhetoric has been, as hard as some people worked to ensure the results of the election were to their choice, and despite the billions of dollars thrown at the American public, democracy prevailed. The people, the diverse populace of the United States, braved the storms, stood for hours, withstood the threats and exercised their rights. Regardless of your political leanings, it should have made you proud to see how involved and engaged the citizens were, each one convinced that their vote counted, that their voice could be heard.
And now we have to recognize that the problems facing this country and the world need a united front to find solutions. Differences of opinion should not prevent us from seeing what is obvious; we all rise and fall together. Believing that you deserve every chance to succeed is one thing. Being willing to do so at the expense of the many is unacceptable. We need to work together to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed, while taking care of the health of the planet.
There are many disparities out there. For some people, the difference between life and death is a matter of clean water. Those who are trying to survive the aftermath of Sandy’s wrath are living in conditions that are everyday routine for many in the world. Haiti, a tiny nation right in our backyard, was even more devastated by Sandy. Cholera, food insecurity, homelessness and flooding continue to threaten the survival of the people.
We rise and fall together. The actions we take today determine the health of the planet for our children and our children’s children. We need to act responsibly and with care for our neighbors both locally and globally. We need to think, not just of our own future, but of the future of the world and its citizens. One of the most wonderful messages that came out of Tuesday’s vote is that the majority of Americans who voted recognized that we need to find a way for everyone to have a future, not just a select few.
President Obama gave a powerful acceptance speech, with so many phrases that are worthy of being repeated, but the one that resonated for me was this one:
“ I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”
The way ahead is not going to be easy, there are many forces at work that need to be overcome. We may have to sacrifice, change some of our unhealthy habits, change our lifestyle. But we live in an unhealthy world, and only some drastic modifications are going to help to heal the planet. It begins with acknowledging that we all have a right to a future, and that the way to get there is to work together.
Heal the world! And let us heal our relationships with our fellowman, while we work out ways to leave a better planet for our grandchildren.
Have a happy Friday family! And a great weekend.