Inflection Point?

The events that took place on the Hill yesterday were shocking. Will they open the floodgates to more civil disobedience? Will they serve as a wake-up call for national solidarity? Or will they have no impact, leaving us to business as usual?

It’s nearly inconceivable that a mob of angry protesters was able to forcefully storm the nation’s Capitol. It’s almost impossible to understand how our socio-political unrest could fester to a point where citizens determined that it was acceptable to desecrate the most sacred galleries of our democracy.

us-capitol-building-4077168_640-featuredWe can analyze the missteps and misinformation that led up to the insurrection.  We can demonize plenty of players for inciting violence, encouraging hatred, or being complacent. But, perhaps the most crucial thing to do now is to assess the impact of this unprecedented moment on our collective psyche.  

No doubt, we are deeply divided. We’re entrenched in wars of psychologies and ideologies, battles over values and virtues that encompass everything that we hold most dear.

But do our disagreements give us license to abandon decency, honor, and respect?  

When we forsake the consecrated rules of human engagement, and when we discard the fundamental tenets of our precious democracy, we are lost.  

When our holy grail becomes power at any cost, we are left with nothing but vacuous nihilism.

Words matter. Actions matter. Even thoughts matter.  

Right now it is of paramount importance that we choose our next words, actions, and thoughts with great care. The decisions that we make over the next few days and weeks are pivotal—they will undoubtedly shape the future of our nation. 

In the words of Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

The beauty of the American Dream has always been that we get the opportunity to craft our own narrative. How will this story end? With heartbreak and despair?  Or are we in the chapter that reveals the ironic twist, when paradise is recovered?  

The task is clear: It is time for us to step away from the constant barrage of social media and news streams, and take a moment to look inwards. To search the inner sanctums of our hearts and souls. To pause, to get as quiet as we can, and ponder our future.  

Will we be the heroes or the villains of our own story? Will ours be a tragic tale of scarcity or a valiant legend of abundance?  

In this moment of frightening unrest, will we muster the courage and compassion to unburden ourselves of hatred and fear, choosing instead the galvanizing force of love? 

We experienced a test yesterday, and we passed it, but only by a small margin.  To some, today is nothing more than “the day after,” representing business as usual. To others, today is a wake-up call—a stark reminder of how precious our democracy is, how it must be nurtured, and how it requires determination and fortitude from all of us to protect the freedoms and liberties offered by the hallowed institution.

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Image by 1778011 from Pixabay