This has already been a bad year. Orlando made it way past bad.
We need a new year. A year not in hate.
You would think that after a while you would lose the ability to be surprised particularly where Donald Trump is concerned but I confess his response to Orlando as a confirmation of his political campaign surprised me. I think there is perhaps a special place in hell for those who try to use the death of innocent people for personal gain and I think his day will come to find out there are some things you can’t make a deal to get out of.
It has been a year of Donald Trump and politics as the Jerry Springer Show. It has been about presidential politics as circus and spectacle. It has been the story of a wreck told each day fresh in newspapers and social media. It has been about who to blame, who to be afraid of, who to scapegoat and racism, discrimination and prejudice as defense of American values. It has been about things not being safe anymore and fear as the flame to stoke a virulent hatred and rage of people of different cultures and experiences. It has been about police not being safe. It has been about feeding hungry people being more of a burden than a responsibility. It has been, for far too many, health care still dismissed in too many states as an Obama plot.
It has been a year, not of opportunity, but of deprivation. It has been a year, not of honesty, but of posturing and self promotion and political convenience. It has been a year, not of building, but of separation and endless bickering and conflict. It has been a year, not of what we stood for, but of not being able to stand each other.
It has been a long and bad year.
On a personal level it was about separation and loss, poverty and sickness. It was about battle with a system dangerous. It was about fear and worry. It was about rage and a daily battle to maintain hope.
I hope you will now, on the first day of this year, commit to a year against fear, a year against rage and hate. I hope you will commit to a year of compassion. I hope you will commit to a year of purpose that says we are defined by what we care about and the kind of people we are.
It is time for a year of life. It is time for us to treasure others and be to them what we hope they will be to us. It is time for the bravery of ordinary people in extraordinary times.
It is time to know the past is neither verdict or destiny of what we can be.
It is time to start a new year.
It is time for a year of better living. It is time… finally time.. time for you and me.