Hedreich Nichols

This Magic Moment

Small Bites Friday Five 11-13-20:

20-30m – This ain’t our first time at the rodeo. Read this History.com article about contentious elections of yesteryear.

15-20m – Spend 10 minutes writing down everything you are feeling about the pandemic, online learning, the election, life in 2020 in general. Now spend 10 minutes writing down all the things you have to be grateful for. If your first list is longer, dig a little deeper. Still having trouble? Start with the sentence stem, “even though…”

10-15m – Go stand outside. Really, don’t even watch until the end. Look up at the night sky. Whether it’s velvety blackness or a cascade of stars, realize, you can see it. (Circle back to your list above.  

5-10m – Don’t watch the news for the whole weekend. I dare ya!

Do you ever watch zombie movies? Or pandemic ones? Especially the ones that start out in some grassy suburban yard with an idyllic family in the sunshine just before bedlam breaks out? Once the destruction hits, it’s the recurring flashback moment and most probably the moment everyone wonders about; could I have done something differently that would have changed the outcome?

Even in real life, whenever tragedy strikes, we always go back over events, wondering if we had taken another road, chosen another course of action at some magic moment in time, if we would have ended up in the same situation.

I believe, for our country, we are at that ‘fantasy point in time’, that magical moment in which everything can change in an instant. Where do we go from here, as a nation, as ONE nation? How do we go from all black and all white to palatable shades of gray?

We can talk less and listen more.

We can refuse to go down the demonization road.

We can assure ourselves that we have more that binds us than divides us.

Or, we can continue with our Facebook tirades, our finger pointing, our self-righteous conversations with like-minded saints who know what’s best, if only the other side weren’t so cretinous.

This is the moment in which we choose to move forward, to make the best of what we have, no matter how odious we feel that choice might be. Yes, this country is deeply divided. Yes, I have my feelings about it. But I will not waste energy on any of it. I have a son to raise, roses and relationships to tend, a future generation to educate and a corner of the world to brighten. I have a book to write and groups to speak for. I have a new niece to bewundern. In short, I have a life to live beyond politics and anger about politics.

This is that magic moment in time in which we decide to dedicate our energies to the things that we can change and accept the things we can’t. If there is evidence of fraud it will be found. If there is none to find, facebook posts and heated conversations will not magically produce any.

Civil unrest can turn to civil war and no election outcome is worth that, not at this point in time. Winning really isn’t everything and I am afraid, if we don’t make some hard choices, life as we know it might be over.

Choose to agree to disagree.

Choose to walk away from arguments.

Choose to educate your children and not your neighbors and coworkers.

Choose peace over contention, even with those you consider evil.

My question is, as you express your moral outrage at the turn this country is taking, just what are you holding on to and what’s the worst thing that could happen if you let it go?

This is that magic moment in time, the one that we can hold on to, or wistfully look back on while unrest escalates into something permanently destructive. Dramatic? Maybe. Possible, definitely. And although we may not all agree on how this country should be run, we’d all agree that we do hope there is a country to be run; so instead of standing back and standing by, let’s all just stand down.

And just in case you wonder why I’m talking about the election in a blog about equity strategies, to be sure, 50% of us are likely to be teaching students who come from households in which parents do not espouse our politics. If you really want change, make sure you are modeling peace and acceptance, even if it seems that their parents aren’t. Your students are watching you, let them see the best in you, even throughout this difficult time.