It’s time to begin playing catch-up with Laurie Sutton’s Instagram project. Around Father’s Day, I began writing a piece to go with her word for that week (I don’t even remember now what it is), and I found myself having trouble because my adopted father and I, as much as I love and miss him, had somewhat of a rocky relationship at times. I’ll have to go back to that writing and set my mind to finishing it.
Meanwhile, I noticed that Laurie’s new word is “motivate,” and two opposing lines ways of being, both of them important, have come to my mind when thinking about that word. My first though was how motivated I’ve been to speak out about Donald Trump. Never have I felt so strongly about the outcome of an election, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am disappointed when I notice people I know supporting him.
Watching the conventions, I largely noticed the contrast between the two: fear vs hope, pessimism vs optimism and pure demagoguery vs a call for collaboration. Having listened the Republican nominee speak but showing none of the bright coloring others have him during the convention, it brought up my level of concern, as has the behavior following the convention. Conversely, the next convention had the opposite effect, raising my own optimism and lessening doubts I had about the nominee.
I mention these things to explain that I found myself again feeling that as a private citizen I can be part of a whole, finding ways to serve my community and even my country and in my own way contributing in a patriotic way with my neighbors across the country. I again began to feel an America that the sum of its parts. Likewise, I feel emboldened to, with as little obnoxiousness as possible, point out the error, and perhaps even the danger, of supporting the Republican nominee.
The second path of motivation has me excited today, and on Google. The Olympics are a breath of fresh air from the 2016 presidential election. The last Olympic games that I really followed was Michael Phelps winning swimming races. I’m finding myself almost NEEDING to think about something more positive than politics for a minute, so I’m ready to decompress somewhat and let the positive energy of coming together globally in friendly competition to seep in.
The excitement is not unlike the night I spent just a month ago in Paris, when France won the semifinal game against Germany, the expected victor. Pre-game there were painted faces and patriotic spirit, during the game there was shouting in the streets of Paris as France was scoring, and then long after the game had been won, vehicles honked through the streets, and people sang and shouted, glorying in their victory throughout the night.
If we could just have a fraction of that between now and the ramp-up to November, I think it would be awesome!