I have been in an inconsolable depression since the election. I don’t mean in a slump. I mean in a black spiral falling deeper and deeper into a hole that appears to have no bottom. I am not a partisan person. It has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans. I’m pretty much a free thinker and I don’t believe I’ve ever met someone who believes in exactly the things I do.
One thing I do believe in is the struggle between good and evil. It takes place in each of us every day as we consider whether or not to do what is right, or what is usually easier. Right now my fear is that evil has a grip on our country in a way I’ve never before seen in my lifetime. My depression stems from fear. Fear that we may see the type of pure evil again that many of our parents lived through in the Second World War
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. There is contention about who should be attributed with these words; Edmond Burke, Charles F. Aked, John F. Kennedy, but in the end it really doesn’t matter who first spoke this truth. It only matters that it is a truth. Today, some good men and women in all parts of the political spectrum are standing back and letting what they know is evil take place. I can’t begin to imagine or pretend to know their motives. I think many of them are just in denial and don’t want to admit how badly they erred in judging our new President’s character.
What I do know is that for me, I think the only way out of my spiraling depression is to stand. Stand up for something again and don’t back down. Stand up for what I believe is right. Stand up tall and strong with others who are as frightened as I am about what is happening in this country and say “no, not here, not on our watch. We won’t let it happen. We want our country to continue to stand for freedom, inclusion and social justice. We want a kind country with arms reaching out to embrace those in need. We will not close our borders. We will not run in fear. We will continue to fight for human rights for all people.”
At first I felt the need to rush back to DC. I thought that’s where the front line was. That’s where the real fight was happening. I should be back there with my old friends and colleagues fighting the good fight. But after a bit of thinking I realized that’s not the case. The real front line is in whatever country, whatever state, whatever town, whatever room we find ourselves in. The fight is everywhere and holding the line is as simple as not laughing at the racist joke at work; greeting each person we meet with compassion; not allowing bigoted behavior to go unchallenged in any form. Holding the line is simply living your beliefs wherever you find yourself and speaking up whenever you see injustice taking hold.
Realizing once again that each of us can make a difference has helped me to climb to the top of the pit. I’m not out of the dark hole yet, but I can see light above. A light that grows brighter each time I see someone standing up and holding the line.