Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens
Below is a conversation between two friends about losing faith in 2016.
“Hey Ron, how you doing today?”
“I guess I’m doing okay, Bobby.”
“Man, you sound kinda down today. Almost melancholy. What’s wrong Ron?”
“This 2016 is a beast of a year. We lost many beautiful people this year. Prince, David Bowie, Alan Thicke, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher. Plus many more I cannot name.
“Yeah, Ron, this year was tough. We saw the shootings of unarmed minorities, mass shootings of cops, and we cannot forget Pulse night club. It’s been horrible but we must carry on and believe in something higher than ourselves. We must believe that out of all this negativity something good will come of it. We have to be strong in times such as these.
“But it’s hard, Bob. It seems insurmountable. The election of Trump seemed almost impossible. I had more faith that our country wouldn’t elect a man like that to lead our country.”
“Well, Ron, if you want to pull hairs, Clinton beat him handily in the popular vote. Almost three million votes I believe. He didn’t win a mandate according to the sheer will of the people. However the Electoral College handed him the victory, as our constitution directs.
“Okay, I give you that. I will even admit that he barely won the states that swung the election in his favor, however he won the popular vote in most of the states which gave him the required electoral votes to win. I want to be positive but regardless of the popular vote he will be our president.”
“He ain’t my president”, Bob spits out. “I must respect the office of President but I don’t have to respect the character of the man.”
“You see Bob, it’s that very statement that solidifies what I believe about the highest office in our land. It must be filled by a man or woman of integrity, compassion, wisdom, understanding and character. The president elect has none of these qualities”
“Yes, that is true, but we must do all we can to fight his rhetoric and work against any policies he may put before congress. I bet you are thinking, Ron that the Republican lead congress will rubber stamp anything he wants to do, and that may be the case. However, we must write our representatives, voice our opinion, and if they don’t follow the will of the people then vote their asses out. Use the power of the vote to push our interests. We have a mid-term in 2018. That gives me a little hope that we can cut Trump off at his orange knees.”
Boy, Bob, you are an optimist. I wish I could be”
“Well, Ron I must be if I want to live stress free as possible. I won’t sit idly by why Trump possible takes our country for a joyless ride of at least four years.”
“I am going to try and remember this conversation when I am really feeling down about 2016 and I will keep in mind that 2017 may be a bit better. However, I can’t say that my pessimism will go away completely, but I will try to be a bit more positive.”
“Change is not easy, Ron. True change is a process not an event, so just try to be a bit more positive each day. I have my days too, but I must thank God for my blessings and keep trying to move forward.”
“Bob, thanks again for listening and we must get together again over some good whiskey next time.”
They shake hands, and continue on with the rest of their day.
As 2016 came to a close, I wondered and marveled at all that occurred this past year. Many took to social media to talk about their disillusionment with 2016. It’s easy to allow melancholy and doubt to creep in about 2017. We witnessed mass shootings, Chicago violence reaching new numbers, police deaths in the line of duty have increased, terrorism all over the world is still a major problem, and again there were protests in the wake of several high profile police shootings of minorities. Furthermore, we lost many beloved celebrities, such as Prince, Alan Thicke, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and David Bowie. We loved each of them for their artistic gifts. Whenever they graced the movie screen or the stage it seemed our lives became a little brighter. Each one of them reminded us what was good in the world when we listened to their music or marveled at how they delivered a perfect line in our favorite movie or t.v show.
The election of Trump was a gut punch for many in America. We all wheezed as the air escaped our lungs and collapsed to our knees at the thought of this type of human being leading our country. Hope seemed lost as we witnessed the election results scroll across the bottom of the screen. In awe we watched once democratic bastions like Michigan and Wisconsin fall into line for Trump. It seemed a mandate was written for all the hateful rhetoric spewed from his lips on the campaign trail. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 1000 hate crimes were reported since the election. Some believed the rhetoric Trump spoke on the campaign trail gave permission to bigots to terrorize the less fortunate and marginalized of our country. However, many took to the streets days after the election and protested, which is their right. That is where our power lies. It lies in our power to protest and the right to speak freely. Many died for these rights to extend to all segments of our America regardless of color, sex, creed, nationality, or sexual orientation, so use them.
I too become disillusioned as more tragedies ticked across the t.v screen and became headlines in our daily papers. It’s easy to allow the heartache and injustice of our nation and planet to lead to having very little faith in things becoming better. Humanity at times seems as lost as confused child in a sea of shoppers on Christmas Eve. Personally, I must have faith in a God. I must lean on a being that really has all control. I understand that all don’t believe in a higher power, and that’s okay. However, all I ask of you is to have a little faith in the future or our humanity. We have overcame issues that plagued our world in the past. I must have faith in the ability of humanity to love one another and to rise as one when issues greater than ourselves threaten us. WWII initiated the overthrowing of a man and regime that threatened all whom stood in opposition to oppression and the systematic destruction of a race of people. In the 1950’s and 60’s Black and Whites worked together to guarantee that basic civil rights were extended to all regardless of ethnic or religious background. There is work yet to be done and we have far to go as human beings. 2017 won’t be perfect and atrocities will once again pepper the media, but hopefully this year will be slightly better than the last. I offer my prayers for a fruitful new year to all who come across these scribblings of a flawed human being who sincerely hopes one day we really are a global community.