The poet, David Whyte wrote: Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us.
I am paying attention—
To the singularly self-absorbed, little man who has revealed the bigoted underbelly of this country.
To the acts of hate and intolerance that have galvanized so many.
To the 64.6 million people, the majority, who voted for the progressive agenda of Hillary Clinton.
To the 3.8 million people sharing their stories in Pantsuit Nation.
To each of you who has written about transcending the hurdles of your past, about finding your voice, about standing up for yourself, about standing up for others, about building your true family, and about living an authentic life.
I am paying attention—
On one side, I see a thin-skinned man surrounded by hoodlums and supported by a mere 31.2% of registered voters, who willfully abandoned both critical-thinking and compassion.
On the other, I see survivors. I have read your stories. I have heard your voices. I know your strength. You are survivors of abuse, assault, and oppression, of illness, loss, and trauma. You have endured a thousand other indignities large and small, and still you shine.
You are light and fire and strength.
I am paying attention, and I am grateful. More than that, I am hopeful. I know that might be hard to believe, but it’s true. Dick and Jeanne Roy of the Northwest Earth Institute define hope this way: Hope is our highest vision of the possible.
YOU are my highest vision of the possible—an unstoppable, rising tide of humans united to take care of each other and the planet.
As for tantrum-throwing toddler man and his cronies who are determined to take it all for themselves, they have already lost. They don’t know it yet, and you might not be quite ready to believe me, but that’s okay.
The momentum in this country is toward a browner, queerer, greener, gentler, smarter future. We, the survivors, the highest vision of the possible, are using the power of the stories we share to take control of the narrative. We are the future.
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© Amber J. Keyser