Starting now

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It’s a strange world.

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As I continued to gather photos this week, I was reminded that better minds than mine have tried to understand it.

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Rabindranath Tagore

They’ve made some progress too. From Tagore (above):

To be outspoken is easy when you do not wait to speak the complete truth.

And also:

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

My 7-year-old cried when she heard the result of the presidential election. Having seen only a few minutes of Trump speaking, she had already identified him as a bully, and she couldn’t understand why so many grownups couldn’t see that. In comforting her, I comforted myself, saying all that I could say: This happens sometimes, but we keep going, we keep being kind and treating everyone as equals, and in the end, that always wins.

As I processed my own rage and incredulity, I ran across quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, like the classic:

Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

And on a lighter note, this from Willie Nelson:

If you forgive your enemies, it messes up their heads.

But I have to admit, as I tried to maintain my equilibrium and not get drawn into aiming my own hate at strangers, the person I kept thinking of all week was…Yoda.

I know it’s silly and there are many loftier (and less imaginary) folks to get inspiration from. But the parable of not getting drawn into the dark side felt appropriate, and imagining a little wrinkly green guy’s reaction and guidance in the face of a very real threat somehow put it in a broader perspective.

Then seeing President Obama and Hillary Clinton speak, I felt inspired by their grace and leadership.

And I realized that’s actually the best way to comfort both my daughter and myself. To recognize my own role as a leader, demonstrating the values I believe in.

And to know that those values are contagious, just as much as fear and hate can be. Actually, far more.

Remember this, from President Obama?

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

The rising feeling I still get from it isn’t just because it’s from our President, it’s because it’s a truth that contains both courage and a call to action. It says both “we are with you” and “you are powerful.”

Well, and I believe it’s also so compelling because he was delivering it with complete conviction. Which doesn’t come cheap.

So I’ll just keep following the leaders who are instruments of that kind of truth. And I’ll keep trying my hardest to be one myself.

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