Forget the calendar. It may say Spring, but we seem to be stuck in a “winter of discontent” that plays on and on in an endless loop.
From Ukraine, where all the miseries of all the wars in all of history have been playing out since February. To Covid, which continues to mock the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike as “follow the science” gives way to “Meh! I’ll take my chances.” Not to mention the ever-present “former guy” whose noxious brand has infected the GOP with a particularly virulent strain of Q-itis, turning a once respected political party into a cabal of conspiracists and fear mongers.
All the pretty cherry blossoms cannot hide the ugliness that now blooms in Congress, runs on Metrorail (seriously, WMATA?) or is fomented in our schools by people who should know better, but prefer to take the fact-free road to education.
Michele Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.” It was hard then but, in our current environment, it seems like an insurmountable task. But maybe we can start small. By listening more and bloviating less. By withholding judgement. By being vulnerable without, as Brené Brown would say, expecting a specific outcome. By giving people with whom we violently disagree the respect and, yes, “safe space” to share their thinking.
A cooling-off period for everyone might be an antidote we all need to survive these turbulent times.
This year, Ramadan, Passover and Easter are all being celebrated within days of each other. But whatever your faith tradition, perhaps we can take this time to reflect on the suffering we’ve all been through and consider how we may come together as a community to do a little better in the coming days.
Our newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, shows us the way. Despite the shameful behavior of her Republican inquisitors, she persevered with calm and grace. We can do no less.