So what’s it all mean? The election certainly didn’t go the way I expected. I never, ever, would have thought we’d elect a man so thoroughly repugnant. Although the word “values” is more often than not a coded word for intolerance and misogyny, I am grateful for those basic lessons instilled in me by my parents. A good chunk of how I live my life now comes from the Boy Scout Law: a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. I have my problems with the Boy Scouts as an organization, but I can’t fault that Law. It’s a group of abstract nouns that help me gauge the general quality of my life and how my life effects those around me. I don’t know about our next president. He scares me. His rhetoric scares me. His fascist tendencies and authoritarianism scare me. But I’m powerless tonight over anything but my own actions. So I’m coming to this blank page to see if I can chart a path. Words are, after all, my trade. Tomorrow, I’m going to get up, tell my daughter and my wife that I love them, go to yoga, go to work, come home and make dinner for my family, go be with my tribe at my normal Wednesday night gathering, and ask myself what I can do to make the world a better place. In short, I’m going to try to live by many of those Law tenants. I so want to hide my head in the sand for a while. I so want to just go about things as if nothing has changed. But the only antidote is action. I don’t know what that action is yet. I don’t know what it is that I can do in my community to help this ugly haze dissipate, but I know it involves being with my community. I know it involves the work I do teaching. I know it involves the people I know at yoga, in my town, in my recovery groups. I know it means I need to read even more. I know it involves more learning. I know it involves work, physical and mental and emotional. I know it involves discovering a deeper awareness of all things relating to social justice. I know it involves kindness and love in all directions. When I was watching the election results, I called one person on the television a “pile of shit.” My daughter was in the room. As soon as it left my mouth, I knew how awful it was that she had to hear me say those words. How had I become that guy? The guy that calls other human beings such vile names? That sort of thinking or speaking cannot be the answer. I’m going to need to be better than that. Love in all directions. It sounds phony and hippyish, butI can’t see any other way through. Hey, I’m a fifty year old white guy. Things probably won’t change too much for me, at least not right away. At least not if the new president doesn’t nuke something in his first 100 days. I’ll probably lose a lot of that retirement money I’ve been socking away. The economy will probably keep going just enough that I can keep my job. But it’s not me that I’m worried about. I’m worried for my daughter—our daughters—and for anyone with dark skin or anyone who came here hoping to find a better life but might not be here legally yet. Hell, I’m worried about a lot of stuff. But I was worried about a lot of other stuff last week, and worrying didn’t help anything then either. I’ll have to work on an antidote to worry, too. It’s going to be a tough four years. I know I’m rambling. It’s late. I’m tired. I’m trying to fight off despair. So forgive me this late-night missive. The sun’s going to come up in a handful of hours. And I’m going to get up with it and see if I can get busy doing the things that need to be done.
Clark Knowles 3 Minutes
Published by Clark Knowles
Clark Knowles lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with his wife and daughter. View all posts by Clark Knowles