Fourth of July thoughts in 2020
In order to have hope, I have to live in a space of yes, and. Yes, I love my country, and I want it to be so much more than it is. Yes, things are terrible, and they are beautiful. Yes, the history of the United States reads like a list of crimes, and it reads like a list of brave actions by individuals and collectives. The country I celebrate today, is the sum total of the goodness and reckless love and generosity of generations of rabble rousers, artists, teachers, parents -- all of whom were gloriously flawed and human. I say this in full knowledge of the privilege that allows me to say it.
The thing with privilege is, I don't want to say, "oh, it's bad, I shouldn't have it." I want to say, "This is a good thing that should be available to everyone. It should just BE."
To live with hope, I have to acknowledge that there is no easy binary. I cannot cling to childish notions of good and bad. I am not writing this as some kind of BIG LOUD statement for some kind of "platform," I just want to say to my friends, you are allowed to like what you like, and to have simple pleasure in things, and to watch a movie and eat a meal and laugh and sing, to give thanks for our capacity to learn and grow and change, as people and as a nation.
The American dream is what we say it is. We don't have to accept what was handed to us. We can redefine. Retool. Revolt. Revolve. Re-evolve.
The American story is all of us -- even if your story isn't one that has been told loudly enough or to enough people yet. You belong. I belong. We must lift up what is good, and true, and kind, and helpful, and work to change what is causing hurt and pain.
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Hi. That's me. I write, sometimes, about parenting, storytelling, and about living a life with stories.