Today we are witness to a sea change–not just for the American people but for everyone and everything else that shares a planet with us. It’s just hard to say whether this New Republic will end it all or be the saving of us.
This much I know is true: We have been in need of change. Vast, sweeping change. But I do not believe that the kind and level of change we need can be solved by the passing of a baton between political regimes. Nor do I believe our government or their corporate keepers will save us. Why would they even want to when so often their interests don’t align with ours? Especially when every year we seem to move further apart. We need instead to start thinking about what we can do to move closer as a people, even as our leaders forget or ignore what it’s like to be sick, to be hurt, to be afraid, to be poor.
The rallying cry for those whose candidate did not stand on today’s podium to be sworn in, is RESIST. But resistance can only take us so far. I believe we need more than resistance. We need a REVOLUTION. Not the kind fought with guns or bombs. That kind of force may be effective, but at what cost?
The revolution I propose starts with us–not the part of us that blames or fears or hates, but the part of us that the best dreams of our then young country were founded on:
- Hard work
And of course we can’t forget Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.*
We need a groundswell from the grass roots. From the deepest part of our humanity. Resilience is about creating what we need for ourselves, in spite of what anyone tries to take away from us. And I do mean us– not every girl for herself like so many survivalists preach. We can’t do any of this alone and why should we want to? Life is better when shared. Obstacles are easier to overcome. Grief easier to bear. Work goes by faster and is more fun (at least according to Mark Twain). And perhaps most importantly, we are infinitely stronger together.
Already, lists of threats to our ways of living are turning up everywhere. Which are true and which may be rumors or pipe dreams remains to be seen, but we can use them as a starting point. ACA threatened? How can we care for and protect each other? NEA abandoned? How do we find ways to keep making, sharing, and supporting all forms of art anyway? The security of our food and water threatened? How to we grow and source what we need locally?
There are already precedents for such things, for example, the 20,000,000 Victory Gardens created in backyards and windowsills and school grounds. By 1944, they provided 40% of all produce grown in this country (source) all without the 16.1 million Americans who were away serving during WWII (source).
There is, within each of us, a Victory Garden. There is, within each of us, a piece of the puzzle. And once we put all those pieces together there’s no telling what we can do.