Who We Are And Who We Can Be

Dear friends of peace, (Jan 6, 2021)
Yesterdaywas a difficult day to watch, one that confirmed the creeping disunion we are experiencing in this country. Business as usual is not working for most of us – even those standing yesterday for a failed president did so because they are dissatisfied with life as they see it and fearful of the future. It should be very clear that violence will not solve our problems. Calls for nonviolence on both sides can begin to bring us together because, despite any wishes to the contrary, we ARE all in this together. Income inequality, a caste system that is unjust, a history of genocide to overcome, a dying planet and a battle for the basics of food, jobs, housing and health care are the indicators of a broken system. But out of that brokenness, there are signs of hope – the first black senator in Georgia, the first woman of color in the White House, more diversity of gender, color, age and gender identity in our elected officials than ever before, and a democracy that continued to work despite chaos and challenge.

I’d like to think we could look beyond the blame and judgment, beyond the claims that this is not who we are and face up to the fact that this is indeed who we are right now. It is not who we are called to be, but change cannot happen until we face reality. Can we see the brokenness and, as de Tocqueville advised, set about the work of repairing our faults? Democracy, like peace, is messy and difficult. Yesterday gave us a vivid picture of how messy it can be. And today we owe it to each other to take on the challenge of tending the gardens of Democracy and peace – pulling the weeds and nurturing the ideals this country was founded on. Can we listen to each other and really hear who we are so we can better find the “we” this country is called to be
With hope, Betsy

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. ~Alexis de Tocqueville