I've written, but not posted, since April. May was simply busy as we finished up the school year and transitioned to a summer in Georgia for Amar's internship. In June and July, I let myself be lazy and soak up one of my last chances to do nothing except enjoy time with family and friends. Starting in August, I struggled to figure out where and how to add my voice during a time when the country was increasingly (and necessarily) preoccupied with conversations about and incited by the election. To engage in the political felt dangerous, especially as I felt as though I was scrambling to inform myself. To ignore the political felt trivial. I'm still uncertain of how I'd like this space to continue evolving. But over the course of the past year especially, I've kept connected with others, explored my voice, and grown as a person as I reflect through writing; I'd rather not lose that because I'm uncertain of the terrain.
For today, I'll start here. I'm deeply concerned about our nation as a people. It feels as though we are riding the crest of a wave that is destined to break, but there are rocks between us and the shore. I think there are a lot of painful conversations that need to be had--conversations that include as much listening as talking. But we have to stop shouting first.
For the first time in many years, my Facebook news feed is not filled with messages of gratitude in honor of Veterans Day. Currently, I can scroll for several minutes and only find two. I cannot emphasize enough what a huge departure this is from years past, what it screams about how fractured we are as a people right now. I do not wish to silence or criticize those on all sides who are angry, hurt, frustrated, or afraid and are posting instead about what matters to them most in this moment.
Each of us wants to belong to a country, a nation that includes us, serves us, and reflects our beliefs and values.
All of us want to belong to a country, a nation that includes us, serves us, and reflects our beliefs and values.
From the beginning, men and women have given of themselves to preserve and protect our country so that we can continue to build a nation that includes us, serves us, and reflects our beliefs and values. Their families have made unique and tremendous sacrifices so that we can continue to build such a nation. Today, I would like to use my voice to honor them. Tomorrow, I will honor them by doing my part to keep building.
Thank you for your service.