Yes

The answer to my question, ”Can you help?”, was always ”Yes” and I feel so blessed. Yes I received all the help I needed from family, friends, neighbors and nurses and doctors too. When I feel down cause healing is so slow, I just tell myself to pay attention and be grateful for all the goodness in my life.

There was soup of course, but nobody makes Chicken Tortilla soup like my neighbor Amanda. I got to ride in the passenger seat while wonderful people drove me to wherever I needed to go. My sister Ann spent the night after surgery with me and I felt safe and cared for. Crosswords were done and laughter shared. Susan came to visit and helped me laugh. Tyler did his best to be the best son in the world and he suceeded. My sisters sent care packages and cards, and lots of love across the miles. Friends checked in and wished me well.

My right hand has a name and it is Missey! She washed my hair, put my watch on, helped me get dressed and took me to all my appointments and asked all the questions I forgot to ask. I can’t list all the things she has done for me because I will forget something and feel bad I left it out. Most important of all she listened to my frustrations and whining. Thank you Missey.

Thank you just seems like not enough, but I am so grateful to all who answered ”Yes.” and helped me. And thanks to Roscoe and Molly who let themselves be walked by volunteers and were always ready to snuggle.

I Need Your Help

Can you help me ..open this, tie this, cut this, open the door, get my shirt on, wash my hair,  drive me, get my pain pills?? The last few weeks have been a big lesson in humility and acceptance as I had  surgery on my right hand and essentially became a left handed and clumsy woman. It hurt a lot more than I thought it would, and despite my vow to not use pain pills I soon realized this was not a good idea.  It was harder to do almost everything except sit and whine. I really thought I was prepared to “deal” with the surgery and the aftermath, but obviously I was not. It’s  4 weeks out from surgery and I am writing again. I’m typing mostly with just one hand, but I did drive myself to my coffee shop office today. I’m muddling thru.

Two things come to mind for me: This too shall pass. and, Pride comes before the fall. I’ve always hated the expression:  This too shall pass. because I thought it meant sooner or later, mostly later, this shit and pain will pass.  I have no control over this and am at the mercy of the universe.  Now I realize the saying is value neutral, everything good or bad will pass!  With each breath I take the “now” changes as I inhale and exhale . It’s the nature of time,  moving forward and  being spent. Simply, the human condition is temporary. Pain will pass and joy will pass and all humans will pass. I will be able to use my hand soon so it won’t always be this way. Another reminder to me to watch how I use “always” and “never”, and not to use them to awfulize , because this too shall pass.

The other thought that comes to mind for me is  “Pride comes before the fall.”, which suggests if a person is too arrogant, he or she will make a mistake or fail in a big way My arrogance, which says “I shouldn’t  have to experience pain.”and “I will handle my surgery better than any person ever has.” has led to a big fall. Let’s just say I got knocked on my ass, and my surgery and recovery has not been a flawless perfect experience. To me, the worse combination of personality characteristics in all of humanity is stupidity and arrogance. To be stupid or arrogant is bad enough, but to be stupid and arrogant is close to a fatal flaw. To the best of my ability I will admit what I do not know, and remember that being “right” pales in comparison to being kind.

I will feel different tomorrow and it could be good or bad, but it will not be so for eternity. I will have pain and I will have joy, and I am just one member of human kind.

Pride should never stand in the way of facing the truth.

                                         Charles Glassman

It’s A Joint Project

This Thursday I am having surgery on my right hand. It’s almost shorter to list what I am not having done! Three for one surgery: carpal tunnel, rebuilding the joint at the base of my thumb and cutting some cords that are causing contractures. I will then be wearing a bandage /splint like a thick boxing glove for a couple of weeks. Basically I won’t have the use of my right hand for several weeks and, of course I am right handed. Really sucks actually, but will be worth it in the long run to get my right hand working well for the many years I have left. So its one of those things you do that will be a pain in the short term, but you do it for  long term positive results. I prefer instant gratification myself! 

There’s a lot of positive outcomes that require work, being uncomfortable for a time and a determination to do what it takes to reach the positive outcomes. We’ve all heard the idiom ‘No pain, no gain.” The idiom “no pain, no gain” means to make an effort in order to get the desired result. It speaks of the importance of making an effort in general and we can use it when referring to the necessary suffering a person must endure to achieve their ultimate goal. thecontentauthority.com  No offense to the men out there, but “No pain,No gain” was brought into popular usage by Jane Fonda in 1982. Y’all remember her second coming as a fitness guru and the leg warmers. We all had her videos to help us “whip” our bodies into shape, hence no pain no gain. The use of “whip” is another usage where pain is seen as a necessary part of reaching a goal. It certainly seems  there is a strong consensus that good outcomes don’t come without paying our dues. All things we pursue in life have a cost. I don’t think “no pain, no gain,” is nuanced enough, so I like the concept of “costs” and “benefits” because they can be more quantifiable.

This is what worries me: What if we spend 90% of our lives paying the costs to get to the benefits we’ve earned, and only get to enjoy the benefits 10% of our lifetime? I don’t want to be always striving, and as a consequence, squander the precious moments of my life with no guarantee that the costs I am paying will even be enough. We’re also told ”Easy come, easy go.” I always thought this meant that all good things needed to be next to impossible or very difficult to achieve, so they would not be lost easily.  If I’m not suffering then I’m not doing it right. If love comes too easy, does that mean losing that love will be easy too? My son does not have to “work hard” to get my love, I give it to him freely and easily with no expiration date. So there’s some flaws in the “Easy come, easy go.” axiom.

We frequently say “Take it easy.” to friends and acquaintances as part of saying good-bye. Take it easy means to  “proceed calmly and in a relaxed manner (or) to make little effort; rest.” How the hell are we going to take it easy if it takes immense effort, even pain to get what, who or where we want to be? It’s like telling your dog to “Come, stay.” At this point in my life I’m more inclined to go “easy”, to focus more on what is attainable without pain. Acceptance of who I am, and knowing how little I actually have control over, really clarifies and narrows what costs I am willing to pay. I’m people-pleasing a lot less, so there are fewer voices in my head telling me what I must be working towards.  So I wish that I wasn’t facing some short term pain from hand surgery, but this is one case where I accept “No pain, no gain.”, and I am choosing to go ahead. After surgery I fully intend to “Take it easy.”

The Red-tailed Hawk

I’m hungry, but I don’t have anything in the fridge I want to eat. I have options. I can go to the grocery store and get groceries and make something to eat, I can order out and wait for Door Dash to deliver a meal or I can go out to eat. Of course, I can just stay hungry and not do anything to address my hunger now. After all I’m supposedly the top of the food chain.There are starving people who will die of hunger today, but by the grace of God I am not one of them. 

Why is the title of this post The Red-tailed Hawk? Hawks get hungry too and they need to find food to eat to stay alive. Sometimes that food is fresh road kill and its in the middle of a busy street. Then what?  Door Dash? No. Risk your life to fly to the squirrel’s body in the middle of the street and swoop it up in your talons and fly away? Yes. I first sighted the large hawk in the street sitting near the squirrel’s body. Oh, oh! Cars were coming, and I managed to flag the first car to slow down and shooed the hawk out of the road, but it didn’t go far and perched on a power box a few feet from the street.  As if posing for a photo op, the hawk patiently allowed me and several other bystanders to take  photos. We all knew this was a rare opportunity  to see this hawk up close. Seeking a bit more distance, the hawk flew up to perch on a fence that was still pretty close to the street.

I waited and waited for the hawk to make it’s move to retrieve the squirrel, but stubbornly he just sat and watched the humans staring at him. Reluctantly, I moved on to finish my walk. Of course, I was curious to see the progress of the hawk,  so I circled back at the end of my walk.  Ta Da! The hawk was sitting close to the fence with the squirrel carcass in it’s talons. I watched him fly off with his meal and I wanted to applaud him.  Instead, I sent good vibes and my respect for a job well done. I was grateful that I was able to witness the hawk, and I felt hope and reverence.

I can not send this post without talking about my deep respect for the Ukrainian people and President Zelensky. They are inspiring the world with their courage and zeal to save their democracy. I am in awe of their courage. Do we have the courage to save our democracy? The tanks aren’t rolling in and missiles aren’t hitting their marks, but make no mistake, our democracy is at stake. Voting rights in peril, our history being twisted to support white nationalism, and a former President who would like to stay in power for life, even when the people voted him out of office. The Russian people do not have the right to vote for their leader, their votes don’t count and any dissenters are jailed or murdered. In America, the armed insurrection on January 6, 2020 intended to stop a democratic act of Congress. This is not the path to establishing a “more perfect union”. No one in their right mind, would say that Putin is a “genius”, or attempt to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for “dirt” on a political opponent.  THINK!

I want to believe that “We the people” will rise up as the Ukrainian people have done, and stand up to those who would destroy our democracy. We can be tough and refuse to give up like the red-tailed hawk.  I hope we will make this choice.

The Light Gets In

Ring the bells that can still ring.

Forget your perfect opening.

There is a crack in everything. 

That’s how the light gets in. 

Leonard Cohen

Sometimes life hurts, sometimes life hurts a lot, and sometimes the hurt is unbearable, but we bear it in the moment and the next moment….  A baby is born, perfect only in a parent’s eyes. It’s only purpose to grow and thrive, and to love and  be loved. I think this is our purpose   throughout our life span, no matter how short or how long. Doing this “perfectly” is not possible. We all get broken by life in some way, there are no exceptions. The longer I live, the more scars I get. I have been beat up, but I’ve thrown some good punches too.

So what are my “…bells that can still ring?” I have an old electronic piano keyboard that has a few keys that are not perfectly in tune. I still play and enjoy it and work around the imperfect keys. My brain seems to fill in the note for me, and I still hear it in tune. I’ve adapted to this limitation because there is so much that is good about making music. I don’t always come up with the best word while I am writing, but that’s what a thesaurus is for. I have to say “no” more often, so I can say “yes” to what is most important to me. I have less people that I tell “ Call me day or night or 3 a.m. and I’ll be there if you need me.” I need my sleep. I have seen and felt horrible things and my soul and body will carry them everyday. Bad things happen to good and bad people. Not all wounds heal. My presence, my love, my friendship are bells I can still ring.

At times, I’ve actually believed that if I was perfect, or tried hard enough, I could make things happen. This makes me laugh now! There is no “perfect”, and if there were I suspect we would all be a bit bored. I now realize my desire to be perfect before I could act was a “perfect” excuse! What I see now is that going for this unattainable state before I acted meant I could avoid my fear, stay safe and avoid failure. There is nothing noble in avoiding life out of fear of failure no matter the reason. “Fake it till you make it.”sounds much more real and possible. It says to me “Just keep moving!” and “Now!”

We all know what a “broken” heart is. It’s not visible on an x-ray, but we’ve all felt it if we are human. The image is of a heart fractured, like a crack in a vase, a heart no longer whole. I am heartbroken. The losses I have experienced have cleaved my heart. My heart is still beating and although I am heartbroken by life I am not in despair. Most days I am happy and hopeful.  I call this courage and perseverance . Leather is softest when it is worn and cracked. My favorite shoes don’t look the same as when I took them out of the box, I’ve broken them in and they fit my foot very well. I am worn and broken in, soft, pliable and teachable.

A closed mind or a closed heart may block pain, but the light is also blocked. A closed heart blocks love, and a closed mind blocks the truth. So the light gets in when there is an opening or crack. It is impossible to navigate in complete darkness, or to see the beauty in my or my loved one’s soul. The light gets in to make me more compassionate towards myself and others. The words of Leonard Cohen and others others teach me and light my path:

Light is the symbol of truth.– James Russell Lowell. 

If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.  Rumi 

There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort….  – Hubert Selby, Jr.

So light a candle and pray for the people of Ukraine.

Been There, Done That

When we’ve had an experience we don’t want to repeat, we might say, “Been There, Done That”. The reasons we may not want to repeat an experience range from “It was boring, I don’t want to do it again”, to “I tried that before and it didn’t work out or it was painful.” It’s shorthand for my personal story, my history: a chronological record of significant events often including an explanation of their causes. Do I sometimes feel “uncomfortable” when I think about some of the things I have done? Absolutely!  For fun, or at least for my edification I’d like to pick apart this definition because “history” seems to be quite the controversial topic lately. 

Chronological: arranged in the order that things happened or came to be . We often think of history as looking backwards, but history is actually created by going forward in time from one event forward to the next. As I lick the spoon, I think this chocolate sundae is really good, but what’s the history behind this sundae? If I made this sundae, the very first event in the sundaes’ history is my thought, “A sundae sounds good, I think I’ll make one.”  And then I got the ice cream out of the freezer and the chocolate sauce …. One action led to another and Bam! a chocolate sundae! I wanted a caramel sundae, but I settled for a chocolate sundae, because I was out of caramel sauce. This explains why the sundae was chocolate, but who would know this other than myself. Much of the controversy  around historical  events often centers on the question of causation. Of course, my example is simplistic, but worth considering when we look at the causes of significant historical events like the Civil War.  What came first? Just remember the last time you tried to explain the plot of a movie to a friend, and you had to backtrack many times to keep things in order and making sense.

Record : to write (something) down so that it can be used or seen again in the future; : to produce a record of (something). First, remember not all history is recorded in writing. People record what they perceive and experience, and of course, people differ on what they perceive due to physical, cultural, and social factors. Obviously a slave would write a different history of slavery than a wealthy plantation owner. Neither record alone tells the whole history, but each record is an equally important point of view. Are the lashes on the slaves back any less relevant than the slave owners “papers” of slave ownership?  Are you uncomfortable yet? I can spin my personal stories so I come out smelling like a rose, and may get away with it unless someone from my past speaks out and questions the truth of my story. On a larger cultural basis the powerful can spin history as well. Who do we believe?  Whose record is most valid? To pretend that all voices are treated as equal is folly. We tend to believe the stories we hear from people most like us. We also disagree on what is “significant”. Women feel differently than men about the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. In fact, often women have been left out of the history of  significant  events  because much of history was written by men with blinders on. What matters to an individual determines what significance to give an event.

What a mess we make when we attempt to record history, but the biggest morass is created when we attempt to explain the causes of historical events. It is so much easier to assert that the War of 1812 happened in 1812, than to explain what caused the war itself. It turns out cold hard facts aren’t so cold and hard . For myself, it is so important I know who is writing a piece of history so I can factor in bias. It is just as important that I know my own bias. Am I hearing from all the parties involved? Whose voices are the loudest? History is very, very complicated and nuanced. The story is never as simple as we wish it were. I have to remain open to adding new understanding of historical events. Perhaps if more adults understood how to face the facts and truths of history, our children could too. Denial of historical facts and the depths of causation means accountability and culpability are not addressed. If we and our children can no longer learn from our history, aren’t we “doomed “ to repeat it. Going forward, what history will we write?

Read a Banned Book

Do you remember English Composition in high school? It was basically a class on how to write. Here is my brief summary. I remember we had to write descriptive pieces; i.e., “The big yellow, fuzzy, slow-moving caterpillar crawled onto the tall, bright, blue flower.” Think adjectives! Then we learned about persuasive writing, i.e. “You should do this because it will help save the planet, the air will be easier to breathe, the water will be cleaner and if you don’t we will all die!’  Soon, we heard about plots and protagonists and antagonists. Protagonists being the good guys and antagonists being the bad guys. We were taught that stories needed plots which have beginnings, middles and ends. To our dismay, we also had to write some poetry which has iambic pentameter! Who the hell remembers what that is?  My summary is complete, as we were taught all summaries needed to be.

The written word. Your writing is your property. It is your creation, whether a grocery list, a 500 page novel, an article in the New York Times or notably, a page in your diary. I come from a family of writers. There would be a very tall pile of books, journals and diaries if we stacked them all together. This began with my Mother, who has written in many diaries and journals, and a lot of us have continued this tradition for ourselves. Recently there has been a rush to ban books, being proposed by “authorities” like parent groups and school boards. These books are controversial because they deal with racial issues, violence, and those who are perceived as “others”, primarily LGBTQ people. I saw a woman on a news show actually declaring, “We don’t want our children sexualized.” Yikes! Unless, of course, they are straight, white and conforming. It is laughable to think that our young people aren’t already quite knowledgeable about sex and race. Social media takes care of that! Certainly parents have a responsibility to care for and protect their children from harm, but is teaching children to be hateful and Intolerant responsible parenting?

Full disclosure, I worked for over 15 years in a book store. I was surrounded by a world of books. It was not my job to tell people that a book sucked, had tons of swear words or hot sex scenes, or was full of misinformation or lies.  If they wanted “Huckleberry Finn” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”, both of which have been banned at one time or another, I found it for them. I shelved “The Joy of Sex” and “The Joy of Gay Sex”. The teenagers that were furtively looking at either of  these books were not bad kids, they were curious kids. The book that I had a few qualms about ordering was  “The Anarchist Cookbook”, a book giving “recipes” for bomb making and explosives, but I ordered it without commentary. We did not stock it but ordered it if someone wanted it. Mark Twain said he wrote “Huckleberry Finn” as a statement against slavery and he used the “n” word because it was the vernacular of the time, but his American classic was often banned. His quote is one of the best I have ever read on censorship: “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

Little Red Riding Hood was banned at one point because there was wine in her basket! “The Catcher in the Rye” has been banned more than any other single book, but it is considered the best book on the adolescence experience ever written. Read it if you haven’t read it, your palms won’t grow hair…. Remember that Isaac Asimov believed “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.”

In summary, (English Comp. 100 -this is how you end essays), today, it seems  the push to ban books is an overt attempt to “whitewash” our society and demonize those whose sexuality does not “fit “ into a heterosexual box. I believe  Alex Ponomarenko said it best: Despite insensitive and downright explicit themes that these banned books hold, they are mirrors to bitter and uncomfortable realities which we cannot simply censor or hide away. In fact, doing so will only cause more harm than good. A mind manipulated to think of only good things or see the world as simply black and white seriously threatens humanity’s survival.   

Blah

It’s the end of January and the snow is dirty and pushed up in the corners of parking lots. Perfect for playing “King of the Mountain”, but the adult in me says I’d get hurt somehow. There’s just enough snow and ice on sidewalks and streets to make running  treacherous. And there’s a new variant called “Stealth Omicron”, sounds like a bad science fiction movie, but its not. There’s a feeling nipping at the edges of my psyche, but I can’t catch it in the shadows and bring it out into the light. It’s all just dirty snow.

I’m writing, hoping I may get this feeling to reveal itself. Shadow boxing and a dog chasing its tail describe the futility I feel now. Why aren’t we grateful that Trump is not president and the horror that would be? I can complain, but brainstorming solutions draws a blank. My brain is not storming, its just drizzling. I know that looking backwards, or into the future, doesn’t bear any fruit, but standing still in the moment is uncomfortable. In this moment, I itch and squirm.  Tears might work to release tension, but I have no tears. What do I call this but ‘blah”?

Aha! Deja vu! I’m “in-between”. I’ve felt this feeling before and I put a name to it. I must have survived it because I’m still here! So I should be able to draw on my past experience with this feeling, but this time, I tell myself, it’s different. It’s not, I just want to wallow for awhile. This is part of in-between, sitting and feeling feelings. I don’t chase my tail, I sit and feel. Age seems to be slamming doors in my face—no you can’t do that, no you can’t have that, and don’t be a fool, that ship has sailed. I haven’t been questioning these assumptions. Maybe “no” doesn’t always mean “no” if it really means “I don’t deserve this”. I don’t deserve to do, have or be  “a, b or c”. My crisis of low self-esteem is based in large part on the limits I have placed on myself because I’m “too” old for whatever. I need to look at what I am thinking and question my own authority. Is what I am thinking true? 

As we know “Thinking does not make it so.” So I can confront my feelings and change my thoughts, but can I make the leap to acting differently? I doubt there will be a big leap, more like baby steps and falling on my butt.. and getting back up again and again. I cut bangs to change my hairstyle. I “like” more people on Our Time and Match, and yes it does take two dating sites! I write to reveal myself to myself. I make walking and spending time with good friends a priority. I test new behaviors and see how it goes. I do things that I may not feel like doing in the moment, but I’ve decided it is what I really want to do. I’m working on a book that is based in part on aging, so I’m taking the bull by the horns on this topic. 

We’re under a winter storm warning for today, February 1st, and it is snowing now. At least the dirty snow will be covered up with fresh, clean white snow for today. I feel a shift in my “blah” feeling,  more excited and hopeful. Though you will find me whining when its time to  shovel this new white stuff….

Cabin Fever

I suffer from cabin fever. Gotta get out of the house at least part of the day. This last week I was not feeling great on Tuesday, and Mother Nature deposited a layer of ice over Wednesday night— I think just to see if silly humans would go slip-sliding-away or fall on their butts. No way I was going out and risk breaking something. Thursday was still really slick so stayed in that day too.   1-2-3 days in a row I did not leave my house! Picture a woman with extreme bed head, a wild look in her eyes and too much time to think, and battling an ear-infection besides. Not a pretty picture. Oh yeah, there was no sunshine for 3 days too. I thought is this what its like to be old and frail? Shit! I am old and frail. Old isn’t some distant time in the future, and when I am not feeling well, I am frail, if only temporarily. 

I took a writing break, shed a few tears, and shook it off to get back to my keyboard. Did I come to any grand conclusions about how I intended to be a super-ager?  No I didn’t. I had a lot of feelings to wade through, like fear and sadness. There are reasons to fear growing old. There are no guarantees that I won’t get sick or injured, and need to  depend on others for help. Several years ago, I had to use one of those rolling riders that you kneel on, so I could keep all my weight off my foot. Talk about a lesson in humility!  I realized how awful it is to have limited mobility and having to ask for help. Roger was still able to help me in some ways, but I live alone now. I am not a doomsayer, but chances are I will have limited mobility at some point in the coming years. Will I be stuck inside like I was this last week?  No matter how positive my feelings about aging are, I will be challenged. I see many articles or ads about “superagers”who are smiling on their bike rides, walking along the ocean, engaging in their hobbies and surrounded by children and grandchildren. And there’s the very attractive gray-haired woman, who looks about 40, wondering how to find someone to date —and is encouraged to use the OurTime dating app. I really don’t like her!  Do I have to be a “success” at aging according to the advertising and life-style gurus?

 I am an average ager, with moments of excellence. I need to get that hand surgery done that I keep putting off, and I will need help for a time. I won’t be riding a bike and smiling my way through that. Will I get cancer like 5 sisters out of 8 did? I plan to keep moving, walking and jogging for as much, and as long as I can.  I live alone now and the silver fox I’m promised on OurTime may never find me. I do have a good circle of friends that I treasure, and they are, and will be, a good support. Grandchildren? Remains to be seen. Will my money run out before I do?  A lot of travel may not be on the horizon because of my financial limits. I have to navigate a path, while my circumstances are changing almost every day. I’ve decided that super agers don’t really exist, life just doesn’t work that way.  For me, the road ahead is not a high speed super highway with full throttle. I’m meandering through the years and I’m ok with that.

Your Vote Is Your Voice

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I  need to remember that it is more than just a day off.  We shorten his name to MLK and I’m afraid we also minimize his dedication to securing the right to vote for all Americans. We may think it’s a done deal that all U.S.citizens have the same access and right to vote. Not so. Certainly since the 2020 election and the “Big Lie”, voting rights have been under attack. The former president and his rabid supporters are pushing for voting reform to prevent a problem that does not exist, fraudulent elections. Certainly if he had won the 2020 election there would be no mention of voter fraud or intent to subvert the election by changing how votes are counted or certified. You lose the game, change the rules! This year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, an astounding 440 restrictive voting laws were drafted in 49 states, with the result that 19 states have actually passed laws to restrict voting. We sorely need the voice of MLK and for the voting rights bills to be passed in the Senate. Short of a miracle this will not happen.

Those whose voices are suppressed or silenced can not participate in our democracy. We will become a government for and by “some” of the people, an autocracy. As Orwell warns us in  “Animal Farm”, there is no more or less equality, there is, or is not, equality. I am not being hyperbolic, I truly fear that we are at a critical point in our nation’s history where our Democracy is threatened. There is no government by the people and for the people if some people are “more” equal than others.

I remember the year 1968, as a year of lost dreams. This was the year Robert Kennedy Jr. and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated. From the National Archives: 

1968 was a turning point in U.S. History, a year of triumphs and tragedies, and political upheavals, that FOREVER CHANGED OUR COUNTRY. (My emphasis )

2022 is another year that will forever determine the course of our democracy. We’ve already seen triumphs and tragedies and we all know how divided we are socially and politically. We are learning just how close we came to having our 2020 election overturned by the former president and his cronies. Despite their ultimate failure, this was good practice for how to overturn elections, and they may be successful this year if we do not enact legislation to thwart them. Many activists now believe who gets the votes may be less important than who counts the votes.

Throughout our history we have been gifted with great orators and writers;  Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson and many others. Words do matter and can serve  as the catalyst for change, but in the end it is action that matters more. MLK “lived” his words with actions. On this day, I challenge myself and my readers to hear his words and commit to action:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it’s creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”  And “The time is always right to do what is right.”