At the present time, we are stuck in the purgatory of politics. Half of media are criticizing Biden, while the other half praises him. We wait to see how SCOTUS will rule on those issues we all took for granted. We wait to see which books will be banned, which race or religion will be the next contemporary pariah or even the prey of the right wing predatory hate safaris. We wait to see how Beto fares against Abbott and how the divisive redistricting maps will chop up our representation. We wait for the virus to end. We wait for primaries and general elections. We wait for the outcome of trials, which we fear to set a precedence.
First of all, the critics have selective amnesia about Trump. He didn’t show up until noon, undermined the Constitution, golfed every weekend on the taxpayers’ dime, and did nothing but shore up his businesses and line his pockets for four years. Biden is actually working for people.
I remember what seems like a lifetime ago; Obama told us: “You were the change.” With those four words, the President turned the power over to us. And that’s where it belongs.
Over the years, the American people have become passive; expecting institutions, charities, and government to change things. They expect that change will rain down upon us, transforming our lives. In reality, that’s backward; change comes from the bottom up—just as Bernie said.
We are waiting, waiting, waiting; tick-tock, watching the clock, perusing the calendar. We have become loiterers in our own lives.
It reminds me of Vladimir and Estragon in Samuel Becket’s play, Waiting for Godot, a tragicomedy of two acts; the theater of the absurd. The two men sit waiting, day after day, hungry, cold, and clueless, waiting for Godot. They don’t know who he is or what he will do, except he will be the answer to everything. Godot never appears.
Our self-imposed state of abeyance also reminds me of Theodore Geisel’s verse:
“Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil,
or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting”.
To be clear, no one likes waiting, but unfortunately, we have an inferiority complex about ourselves and a lack of confidence in our abilities. We feel we are not big enough or sufficiently influential to cast that stone across the water that creates many ripples.
If each person concentrated on changing themselves FIRST, we would have a human revolution that would eventually change the world. A change in mankind rests solely upon the collective efforts of individuals; grains of sand make a beach, drops of water make an ocean. You, yourself, make history every single day; by the things you do, say, and the causes you celebrate.
And even though we should be doing things for ourselves, we require a leader who will guide us and keep the fires of inspiration burning.
We keep waiting for a hero, someone to save us, but with an effective leader to motivate us, we have the power to save ourselves. We often eschew that person, or even ourselves, because it didn’t come in the package we envisioned.
We try to find it in pop culture gurus, not realizing that we are the ones with the answers. An adequate leader inspires people to follow him or her, but a great leader inspires others to do things for themselves. A really big leader is one who makes US feel bigger when we are with him. Too often, we realize what a great leader we DID have in our midst, only after the fact.
The poet, June Jordan, stated it perfectly and succinctly, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” That should be the chorus in the aria of each generation. We, ourselves, are responsible. No political system can deliver us from the difficulties of everyday living. That responsibility falls to us.
Doing nothing and wishing things would change is the course most people choose. Therefore, nothing ever changes.
What are we doing now? We manufacture our own personal brand of outrage on social media and on political forums. Collective righteous anger is a powerful intoxicant, but it accomplishes nothing. As we pound out combative words and phrases from our keyboards, we sit behind anonymity and we speak to anonymity. We might as well be talking to an empty chair.
There will be a hundred “buts” in response to the call for self-actualization, but I suggest that we get off our “buts”. We waste valuable precious time combating one another.
Will there be rebuke or reconciliation? Feeding the anger or feeding the soul?
Remember: If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Don’t just stand there, waiting.