We take two steps back, a hop to the left and an unsteady wobble to the right.
You drive home on crowded parking lots and you tell your children valuable life pro-tips as you tuck them in at night – because after all, science tells us we remember most what we hear before we sleep. All the while the wind barks outside their window and your own tribulations mix your grocery list and your bucket (or wish?) list.
You tell them men hold power, never apologize for being you, and never admit mistakes. The American dream is dead and maybe never even inhaled a drop of air.
You tell them life goes on, regardless of the direction. You tell them to make the most of it – whatever it is. That all will rattle you in the end.
Because that is what they’ll see when they turn on the TV for their afternoon cartoons. They see death and will inevitably see war – until the day we all decide; Enough. Is. Enough.
You tell them the truth.
Not the fabricated mess we make up on a whim. You tell them who was voted in, who wasn’t, and how to vote – but not who to vote for.
You tell them that when their input has a chance to be heard, they must choose the leader they see fit – the one they feel is right all the way to the inner workings of their soul.
You look into their small, gleaming, hopeful eyes and you light a fire within them – the most powerful kind.
You tell them they must BE the change they wish to see in the world.
They must embody it, devour it, and work for it. Though not at the expense of their humanity or the souls of those around them.
Relay that life isn’t a straight path, nor is it simply jagged – it’s full of choices, route comparisons, and risks. Lecture them on the power of their words, because though a tidy room makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy, a properly made bed never bred peace – or encourage them to find a way to breed peace from tidy beds.
Tell them America needs a new dream. The United States of America has a new dream.
A dream of peaceful, accepting day-to-day interactions where we embrace our souls and jump at the chance to learn all we can about the person to our left, right, and diagonal.
We’ll keep moving, the world will keep spinning and somehow we will make it through. Everyone faces obstacles in life and for some, this is a major one – but obstacles are made to be overcome, not walked away from. One day we’ll look back and remember how we thought the dark days were upon us once more, but now we’re living in the brightest light we know.
For now, tell them that the future is more uncertain than it was yesterday, but we’ll stand together with safety pins and hope, elbows locked in unity and the vision of happiness just within our view. We’ve just gotta keep moving, even if that movement requires a new path – one that isn’t directly forward.