I listened with rapt attention to young Amanda Gorman recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of Joe Biden. I was astonished how her words, placed together in unexpected arrangements, so deeply moved me, like the notes of a melody that touches my heart. Her last stanza says:
“…When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”
For there is always Light. There is also always Love, but only, if ONLY we are brave enough to see it and to BE the Light and the Love.
There are many who are giddy with excitement about the new president and our first woman vice president. I often wondered if I would live long enough to witness a woman in such a high position. There are also many who are horrified and disgusted with the same result. Then there are those who took their outrage to an unthinkable extreme that we have never before seen and attacked our Capitol and our democracy.
Words matter. How we use them can incite a riot or inspire a nation.
The mantra my mom told me to say when my brothers tormented me with their shenanigans was "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me". But regardless of how often I repeated those words, it didn’t matter, it still hurt. Mom would tell me "just ignore them, they don't mean it, don't let their words get to you". But they did.
Words matter and differing opinions and points of view are healthy. When I listen with an open heart, stand in my values with respect and honor, common ground is possible. When hate replaces love, I want no part of that conversation. Here now, in 2021, I choose Light and Love.
As Amanda Gorman said:
“…If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy…”
May Light and Love become your legacy and mine too,