“The only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world”….is what President Obama said at his last press conference before leaving the presidency. It reminded me of the famous Franklin Delano Roosevelt inauguration speech in which he said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In both statements I hear the wisdom of the Buddha explaining that the ability of the mind to stay reasonably balanced in the face of an potentially alarming challenge allows for the possibility of a thoughtful, effective response rather than a frenzied, impulse driven reaction. I am very concerned about what seems to me to be a new government prepared to reverse the socially progressive democracy that has been in the process of being built over the last 70 years. As the child of immigrants who arrived in America impoverished and uneducated, I rejoice at having been part of my parent’s dream for me and my children. As I have watched the millennial generation erase boundaries of race, sexuality, and gender, I have delighted in thinking of the world my great-grandchildren will be part of. Now, on the eve of a new government, fear arises in me as I hear signals that forward progress will reverse. I am trying to avoid imagining the worst possible scenarios, those that evoke fear that clouds my mind and makes clear planning impossible. I will go out and march on Saturday. I will continue to sign petitions and vote for officials who support my view. I will stand up and be counted. I will try to do it in the company of friends. Knowing I am not alone is the counteractive to fear. Now is not the time to be invisible.
Images generously shared by artist Shepard Fairey