Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Big Day


When your goal is to write seven days a week, you will have many days to fill where nothing in particular is going on, punctuated by the occasional days of great national import. Frankly the nondescript days are easier. On days like today everyone will be writing. There will be ample opportunity for comparison. Some really good writers come out for the big days. I try not to take that into account, but...

Today is a big day. 

The events of the day are national but will affect all of us here locally. So I’ll indulge myself in a few words.

Today our country will install a duly-elected President who brings to the office the most important value we need if we are to save our troubled Democracy. President-elect Biden thinks and acts from a core belief that humans should foster goodness in themselves and others, and, when there is goodness to be shared, it should be. No holding back, no keeping supplies in reserve. No doubting whether the needy are deserving.   

The president who departs today does not seem to be oriented in a way that acknowledges good or evil. His words and actions have focused on the desirability of material goods and acts of power. It matters very much who has control of them, who gets the power.

The difference between these two men and between those who support them makes all the difference in the world. One results in an attitude of believing in our fellow citizens, the other sows anger and distrust. I sincerely believe that our country, well, even any civilized society, cannot survive a sustained culture of the latter. 

We must have the capacity to want good for others as well as ourselves. We need leaders who put that goodness into policy decisions. We need laws that establish a commitment to basic human decency and caring as key components of how our country works. National or local, the goal must be the same.

Most of all, we need to challenge at every turn the notion that goodness is scarce and must be hoarded to assure its proper use. It is, in fact, that very notion which limits and chokes goodness down to nothing but a commodity to be bought and sold. The last four years are proof of that. It is ugly and it has been deeply damaging to our country.

Today is a big day. There will be a thousand think pieces and millions of tweets and Facebook posts. We will observe the day’s events and our nation and the world will move into tomorrow. It’s important to remember that this day didn’t happen by chance. Biden’s election is the direct result of millions of people who organized and worked and donated and stood in line to vote because of their commitment to creating better government.

Goodness matters: without it the world crumbles. Believe it. Act on it. Share generously. Nothing you do today and in all the days going forward will have more impact on the world around you.

May this day be safe, and joyful, and a truly good beginning for us all.



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