Often, as I consider the future, I am overwhelmed by the emotions of the past. I feel the waves wash over me like a flood that will never again let me breathe. It is crushing at times in ways one might describe as a feeling of depression. However, the buoyancy of hope and motivation lifts me quickly to the surface. It is there that I can feel the sunshine and its warmth. Challenges of regrets and everlasting, sharpened pain make me cringe in the darkness of the flood, but it is the lighter thoughts that diminish this feeling.
It has been a poignant year for me as a person and citizen of the world. I have faced the obstacles and barbs of the world. I have stumbled with my own decisions and their results. I have dreamt of a future in which several goals have been achieved which led me to set those goals on the horizon. There is no doubt in me that this year has been one of the most challenging of my personal life. I must say that if this is how such years end, then I invite the rest to be as much or more so. I feel success by climbing the mountain.
This particular month has been a battle as I create time from my very odd schedule. I have so many things that I wish to accomplish, yet it seem that I have been swallowed by life once more. It is in a good way. Work has been demanding, but it is for a good reason and pays the bills. I have had time to catch up on a hobby of mine, which is reading. I have finished several books that I meant to finish years ago. Now, I am moving on through fiction to some non-fiction/academic volumes that have been on my list for a while. As a student of Antiquity, I have found a set of Gibbons volumes on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. A book on the history of early Christianity has found me again. I am actually able to read a few of those books that my professors suggested. Overall, I am feeling the excitement of learning again.
Next week, I will be celebrating my eighteenth wedding anniversary and I feel that my spouse’s support has never faltered. That support is a constant source of positive energy with a hint of elegant wisdom and necessary honesty that I need from time to time. I hope that I have provided similar qualities and seek to continue that in the years to come.
As Thanksgiving passes and the month of November draws to a close, I hope to see a bit more of the sunshine and offer my hope that all humanity can find a stable footing for peace and thankfulness. Seek that moment and use your past to climb toward your dreams.
Have I lost my innocence? I once thought and believed with all my soul that United States of America was the greatest country on this planet. We had spirit and tradition that drew us together like no other force. We created patriotism and national pride without the heavy weight of forcing the citizenry to follow along. It was the deep faith in the dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that pulled us through the wars and hardships. We nearly divided over those same thoughts until someone used the duct tape of the Constitution to hold us together. We are US citizens and we need to remember the core values that hold us together.
It is not some ideological, partisan fife that we should be marching to. It is the simple faith that we are Americans. No force in the universe can shatter that belief if we remember to hold strong to it. Just because we have our differences on opinion, lifestyles, or public policies, it is not reason to break the bonds of brotherhood that brought this great nation together. We fought tyranny in the form of a monarchy to become free of such concepts. We fought each other to understand the very soul of humanity that we represent. We fought the harsh realities of intolerance and ignorance to keep a single regime from wiping out an entire group of people for being different. We have become the very ideal of freedom that some fundamentalists would hope to destroy from within and without. There is little reason to allow that enemy to win.
Old fashion traditions have held us together for so long. We are a divided people because of our very nature, which comes from the forefathers. We were divided on the ideals of our society then, but we came together to compromise to the middle and make a nation that I respect and honor with my actions everyday. We should not let the politics and harsh rhetoric pull us apart and keep us apart. We elect a leader to hold us under a single voice for one branch, but we hold that person in check with an assembly in the other branches. It does little good to pout and kick our feet when it does not go our way. We are not spoiled children. We are American citizens and honorable adults. Let’s start acting that way.
One last thought and I will let this go. Most feel that the arts and entertainment of our culture has corrupting elements. Tones and topics which are inappropriate for young children can be found in examples, but there are wide sweeping themes that inspire new visions and arts for the future. I understand that it is important to protect the young minds so that traditions and ideals can be passed on, but think about something for me. When in a crisis or disaster, who is it that we turn to as a society? As a whole, who are we going to embrace to get us through those tough times? I find that it is the irony of the ages that the one thing that holds us true to our course is the very thing that never escaped Pandora’s Box. It is the very thing that settles into our soul and protects us from our own worries and despairs. In an essence, Tolkien and, in his own way, Joss Whedon direct our understanding of the human nature through the entity of Hope. It is shared in the definition that life without hope is despair. If we despair, we become nothing but the cruel, twisted life forms that seek only to consume others and their brains. In other words, hope is our foundation and refuge. Don’t waste it with removing it from our world.
So, have I lost my innocence? NO. I seek the future that has not been written and aim to write my own. I dwell on the very essence that we are all humans with a wide variety of differences. In these differences, there is hope that we will never despair and remain the unshakable force that we all hope to be.
By the way, go and vote tomorrow. There is little reason not to. Some feel that it is pointless, but they are the ones that despair. Nothing is written. Hope can change who we are. Find your liberality and cognizance to avoid being a zombie!