We heard the “c-word” a lot during the recent presidential campaigns. We need change. We will bring change. The government must change. It was used so much that it nearly lost any meaningful sense.
Then today, as I was driving down I-84 and listening to one of our local radio ranters, I was re-introduced to change as a living, encouraging, hopeful concept.
I am probably considered to be an aging hippie in some minds; a tree-hugger; an environmentalist; a vegetarian (well, mostly); a liberal. The labels are many, the meanings complicated. I was raised in a staunch Republican home, so I’m not unfamiliar with more conservative tenets. And I’m a nun, so there must be some part of me that still leans in that direction. But mostly I walk well on the other side of that line.
The man I was listening to is given to name-calling and conservative raving. I’m sure part of that has to do with media ratings — talk-show screamers are all the rage these days — and part has to do with his personal commitment to certain stands. I try not to listen to this station; much of what I hear is angry, war-like, judgmental and even rude. Such talk tends to make my stomach hurt.
But today the show host got my attention. He was talking about the possible bail-out of the automobile industry, and he was strongly against such a plan. So am I. And for the same reasons. Then he talked about failure as much more than an unpleasantness; it is one of the best ways we learn and grow. And we’ve tried hard to eliminate it, from our grade schools to our businesses. I think that’s dangerous. So does he.
Then he called for all of us — Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, rich, poor, white, black, brown, yellow, red, male, female, old, young — all of us, to set our differences aside so we can deal with the very dangerous, potentially lethal, situations that we face as a nation. As a planet, for that matter. The time has come for us to grow up, fast and well, into a strong and wise community of friends and neighbors who want to leave something more than a starving, singed chunk of rock to our children and grandchildren and all the generations to come.
We can do it. We truly can. We have to make that decision, change our hearts, and start working and playing and celebrating and thinking together. We really can do this.
Yes, we can.