Dear President Trump,
My right foot is still not healed up enough to run so I’ve been taking walks. Today’s was fairly ambitious in that it was two miles round trip to see the glacial anomaly I told you about in May. Along the way is that bush where someone hung index cards after your election with positive, hopeful messages. A few houses away I tried to remember what the tags say and hoped that at least one would say “Stay Strong.” The only one with any remaining writing was hard to make out; at first I thought it said “Love Stronger” and then I realized it actually said “Love is Stronger.” Really, both work fine and are close enough to “Stay Strong” that I felt buoyed.
Of course, though, love isn’t strong enough to bring back the marine life that will die untimely deaths or hold the ocean’s ecosystem together in the wake of the offshore air gun blasts you’ve approved in the Atlantic. Nor is love strong enough to restore the mountains (and valleys) destroyed by coal mining or the forests you’ve ok’d for clear cutting or the waterways that are poisoned by industrial agriculture run-off. We can’t will love to deal with the green house gases that are already killing us. We also can’t expect love to repair the damage you’ve done to democracy or to the various governmental functions that historically safeguarded us.
So what good is love? If hate and greed can destroy in a relative nanosecond, what chance does love have and how could anyone maintain that it’s stronger than hate? Honestly, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I know what I want the answers to be and as noted above, I did feel a boost when I read the little sign this morning, but I don’t know.
Maybe it’ll help to remind myself that giving up or taking an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” stance are both unacceptable betrayals of the future, because they are. Thus, even though it’s hard to feel very sturdy about it, the best option I see is to have faith that love is stronger than hate and that some tangible good will result from loving stronger. I need to believe this even though progress will necessarily be fitful, time consuming, and painstaking, like when a community commits to the hard work of restoring a lake or reestablishing trust.
May we be safe from the easy temptations of hate and greed.
May we be happy to keep sharing positive messages that keep our collective hope up.
May we keep our spirits healthy and strong with regular infusions of love and kindness.
May we not stoop to your level, ever.