We have to stop depending on our politicians to make our country better. Yes, there are big things that we individual citizens are not capable of doing on our own, but this is our country. We don’t have to wait for others to make it a better, more equitable place for all of us.
And yet, as difficult as the last four years have been, they have also refined me. It has been painful and uncomfortable and full of loss, but I am a better person than I was four years ago. I believe that we can be a better and stronger country despite what the last four years have thrown at a lot of us. As a country we were able to ignore and deny many of the problems that have plagued us since our birth, but now we are forced to face those problems head on.
Through all of this, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting. For the first time in a long time I started to understand the meaning of Advent. The waiting, the hoping, the longing for something better while sitting in the darkness. I took time I didn’t have at the end of a semester to start writing an Instagram post a day for Advent, each day on a different word. It’s been the most reflection I’ve done during Advent in a long time, and it brought me back to my word for the year, “hope.”
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frightened about what will happen next week. I am the most frightened I’ve ever been about the future of my country and the most hopeful I’ve ever been about real, lasting, impactful change. The election won’t be over on Tuesday, November 3. Coronovirus won’t disappear on November 4. All of our problems will not go away on January 20. But I’m hopeful about the future because people not only want change, but they are fighting for it.
I have no idea what this coming school year holds. I don’t know how long I will be teaching in person, if or when we will be forced online, and I don’t know what school is going to look like for my own kids. I’m scared and apprehensive and exhausted and hopeful all at the same time.
I love my country and I want better for her. I want to see those blinding transgressions transformed into a beautiful sunset, multiple colors mingling with the imperfections in the sky to create a stunning tapistry. I want to develop a mature patriotism, one that doesn’t put up blinders but one that sees the flaws and works towards transformation so that all citizens can feel they truly belong to the country that they call home, whether by birth or adoption.