By Carrie Norberg
My entire life I have been apolitical. I’ve been content to watch the goings on from the sidelines at times, but mostly remained blissfully ignorant of how those in power may or may not be affecting my life. It never felt like my daily world changed in any significant way as a result of the decisions going on around it.
Sadly, but also happily in a way, that is no longer the case. I can see not only the current wrenching of what I considered a stable, free, and yes, admittedly entitled existence away from me, but from countless innocent others.
What should be obvious arguments about how this great nation of ours was built on immigrants and freed slaves, or that every single person, regardless of gender, race, age, beliefs, lifestyles, etc. deserves freedom and acceptance, or how it makes sense that government should take responsibility for regulating and providing for the health of all of its people; these arguments fall on deaf ears, their owners blinded by their own need and greed.
The small “happily” part I refer to above comes from gratitude at having my eyes opened and the spur toward taking action that has resulted. I admit there has been a significant part of me in the past that believed one person could not make a difference. Now I see that I’m wrong. I have been inspired by the awfulness that surrounds many of us right now but even more so by the well- and loudly spoken resistance that has arisen.
I do not like to think in terms of “we” and “they.” I understand that those who think differently from me feel as strongly as I do about long-held beliefs in what is right and what is wrong. I understand that many of whom I sometimes consider “the opposition” too only want to make their lives better. I also understand that what we learn from our parents and from generations behind them sticks closely to us and doesn’t let go. And that intentions are mostly good, even if sometimes born of narrow focus.
I’m choosing not to include these people in the “they” I’m working to resist but only to target the truly dark element among them. Those who believe they have been oppressed while greedily sucking at lady liberty’s tit. The fearful who attack others in a vain attempt to increase their self-worth. And above all, those who take advantage of these frightened people and use it to advance their hatred and greed.
I have been horrified at the sheer numbers of this dark element and that they actually exist here, in a place that’s always, always been known for its acceptance, tolerance, and progressive thinking. World leader. That “was” the United States. But that world in which I can sit comfortably ignorant, no longer exists, and I for one, will do my part now.
About the writer
“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness” …from Thomas Jefferson’s original unedited first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
Carrie Norberg is Coloradoan, Californian, Oregonian, American
World traveler who has seen first-hand how very few differences there are among us “earthlings.”
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