Dear President Trump,
In church this morning our pastors made a concerted effort to remind us to look for joy even when, or especially when, we are feeling overwhelmed with grief and strife. The service was well done, the examples provided were solid, and the music and messages were uplifting but it was kind of like an exquisite, tiny dessert — enjoyable and wonderful for the few moments it takes to eat it but later seems like little more than a phantom with virtually no nutritional value. Maybe that’s why we have to make an effort and remember to look for joy (and beauty) since it doesn’t last long and can easily be swamped by the rest of it.
The last couple of weeks’ events sure have been swamping most everything joyful and I feel sick at heart thinking how likely it is we are going to shuffle on from the Las Vegas massacre, Puerto Rico, and the Harvey Weinstein revelations and nothing meaningful is going to change. These situations represent just the repulsive tips of three nasty icebergs that are conjoined deep under the surface. They are the sordid manifestations of our willingness to sacrifice one another on the altar of profit and our deeply held belief that certain among us are completely expendable. It’s a lame grasp at something, anything, but maybe there is a tiny bit of joy to be had in how painfully obvious this all is. I don’t want to get all Revelation-y on you but it’s like Evil has taken his mask and gloves off and has been absolutely going for it and we are getting to see much more clearly than before what we are up against. In answer to this, you need to listen to the Gorillaz song “We Got The Power”. The whole thing is awesome but I especially treasure the lines: “I got my heart full of hope / I will change everything / No matter what I’m told / How impossible it seems (we got the power) /We did it before / And we’ll do it again / We’re indestructible / Even when we’re tired.” Even when we are tired. Even when joy seems remote and fleeting at best.
You all are not going to win. Hate is not going to win. We are not expendable. We are all precious, irreplaceable works of art of intrinsic, unsurpassable worth and we are going to keep reminding you all and ourselves for as long at it takes. So there.
May we keep sparks of joy safe.
May we be happy to employ our powers for good.
May we not quit when we are tired or feeling poorly.
May we remember that kindness is everything.