So far, this month has been a month of losses.
I am afraid that the election confirmed a loss of civility as a norm in our society. I don’t want to write about politics but I do want to say that inclusiveness and respect for each individual are values we must fight for. Bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, and disrespect for people with disabilities must not be tolerated. We must speak up against bigotry whenever we hear it. I will support all organizations that fight for civil rights. Will you join me in consistently speaking out against hate and putting money behind our words?
Right after the election I lost my wonderful Aunt Shirley, and with her the last vestige of my childhood elders. My mother was one of five children, and as time went on five families were formed. My parents and aunts and uncles and cousins were a most close-knit family. Three of the families lived only blocks from each other and there were no locked doors. Aunts, uncles, cousins wandered in and out of each other’s homes at will. It was a wonderful childhood, but even more wonderful were the values that were instilled in each of us kids in each of our five families. A cohesive family is golden. We have a little touch of La Cosa Nostra in the Smith Clan, as we call ourselves. The older generation of Smiths are not here anymore to guide us, and we mourn the loss of a generation, but they created the Smith Clan and the Smith Clan lives on.
Right after Aunt Shirley died, Leonard Cohen did as well. Of course, he was not a relative so the loss was not personal. But I loved Leonard Cohen for his poetry, and the fact that he growled out his beautiful songs only made them more powerful.
And next, Gwen Ifill was gone. I always considered Ifill a huge breath of fresh journalistic air amongst the shouters.
But now Thanksgiving is coming. Just in time, I think. Here’s an opportunity to remember all that we can be thankful for. I am thankful that Leonard Cohen reminded us that “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Before this month of losses ends, I am going to try to figure out how to bring some more light through the cracks. Will you join me? December can truly be a month of light if we “ring the bells that still can ring.”
©2016 Margery Leveen Sher
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