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Posts Tagged ‘Dietrich Bonhoeffer’

“From a Distance”– Currently at the West End Gallery

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The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Yesterday, for the first time in many moons, I felt a sensation that seemed distinctly out of place for the feelings that have been swirling around inside me lately. It was a twinge, a pang, a fleeting pulse of optimism.

I think it was the announcement of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden‘s running mate that did it. I had been expecting– and hoping– that she would be the pick. The daughter of immigrants, she’s smart, tough, and forward looking but also warm and engaging. What’s not to like?

But even expecting it, I was surprised at my own reaction to the announcement. It made me happy in a way that I haven’t felt in some time.

Optimistic.

It took a while to recognize this long lost feeling, this optimism. It’s been gone so it seems almost foreign and I have found myself more apt to use words like pessimism and cynicism to describe my feelings about the future.

But the truth be told, I kind of like it.

I like the idea that there are responsible adults stepping up to face the multitude of problems facing us at this time. As daunting as the situation, this little bit of newfound optimism makes me think we can find solutions going into the future.

It’s like the torch on the Statue of Liberty has been dark for the past four years– it sure feels that way¬†and there’s talk that it might be set ablaze again. Eyes look up again.

Like I said, I like this feeling but it still makes me a bit nervous. I fear that others who feel the same thing will think that this optimism somehow replaces the need for hard work and attention to detail in the coming months.

Pay attention. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s, people. Make sure you’re registered and vote even if it means standing in line for hour upon hour.

This is the most critical election of our lives. That is not hyperbole.

We are still down in a dark pit but at least our eyes are looking up a bit now. And there is light up there.

Like the great Curtis Mayfield song they used after introducing Biden and Kamala’s partnership, let’s Move On Up.

Have a good day and keep your eyes up.

PS: The quote at the top is from Dietrich Bonhoefer, who wrote an essay that I used in a blog post, On Stupidity, which is easily my most visited post.

 

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