I debated, throughout my entire morning power walk, whether or not to make my next post political. I am not a political person, nor do I like publicly discussing my standpoints and opening myself up to others' criticism or arguments. So I thought, why don't I just stick to basic human desires?
It's obvious to the whole world that our country is in a sad state, economically. And no matter which side of politics people are on, I think they'd all very much like to see things get better...sooner rather than later.
America has been through worse times. Just sit down and talk to anyone from my mom's era--they remember news of people jumping out of windows during the stock market crash of '29. They remember the Great Depression. My mom was a kid at the time, but she recalls, "I remember seeing neighbors borrowing used coffee grounds from people who lived a couple of doors down who were slightly more well off...it was shocking and sad."
Yeah, we had an upset on Wall Street last week, but people still had enough coffee (a Starbucks on every block), and probably always will.
So we can survive this. I know we can.
He had me at "The Audacity to Hope." I could SO relate, because I'm a hopeful person. I once wore a t-shirt (I still have it packed away somewhere) that has this on it:
And while we're at it, I guess I've always been audacious too:
From Websters Online:
audacious:1 a: intrepidly daring : adventurous
3: marked by originality and verve
I look at the last three years of my life in which I moved across the country, stepped outside every comfort zone I ever had, wrote a novel, moved back, started my own business, and am currently working on the promotion of said-novel once it's out. Jeezusgawd, if that's not audacious...and the price for such audaciousness is being at poverty level---still. I know dreams take time and more than a little patience for the payoff to finally arrive. Needless to say, I have a lot to be concerned about, economy-wise, as the rest of us.
So I too like to combine audaciousness and hope...transfer them to my outlook on the world, on my fellow humans, and on my country. Followers of Zen Buddhism strive to exist only in the moment, because they believe nothing else exists. Easier said than done. But if I am going to project outside the here and now, you better believe it's going to be a hopeful image.
I see America gaining back the respect of the world. I see the development of alternative fuels (we have SO many brilliant minds in our scientific communities, I've no doubt in their progress). I see people employed and able to make it financially and have a nice place to live. I see people getting adequate health care. I see troops coming home. I see people taking better care of the environment. There might have to be an adjustment period for all this to take place, but again...we've survived worst. I'd like to believe the best times we've ever seen lie ahead.
In Julian Lennon's recent film, The Whaledreamers (I highly recommend it, if you want to feel good about the One-ness of humanity again) there is a quote at the end that says roughly..."there is still a lot of magic left on the planet...the magic that connects us all..."
First, we have to "imagine" it, like Julian's father John suggested to us. Then we have to truly believe in it. Then, and only then, can we make it happen. We all want these same things, don't we?
It does take audacity to go against the riptide of the hopeless and the pessimistic...and it might be hard to force one's self to believe that all this stuff can get better, when it's gotten so, so bad. But it all starts with seeing it in your mind. And I daresay, the audacity it takes to do that is effortless. And a really good start.