I thought I’d tell you about how my life has changed since the election outcome. First, the good news for me, is that I’m white, albeit female so a certain part of my anatomy is apparently up for grabs, but at least I don’t have to worry about Neanderthal types yelling racial slurs or hitting me. So that’s good. But what’s bad is that I am stunned we humans are so tribal, so ignorant, and so full of base hatred for The Other. So I have to try to reconcile that.
But a very good thing has also happened, and it is that I feel united with the majority and I feel a sobering awareness to use my white privilege to stand up for the vulnerable. My sister-in-law told me, “My headscarf is ready if they start registering Muslims.” She is Jewish. But how wonderful to contemplate one hundred million people registering as Muslims in the United States.There is a power in behaving with decency that is less obvious than the shock-value of barbaric outrageousness, but it is the far stronger power, since it is based on values that enrich the soul, rather than corrode it.
“Against eternal injustice, man must assert justice, and to protest against the universe of grief, he must create happiness.” –Albert Camus
I’m not getting the impression that our Congress is feeling the effects of their own incompetence. What can make it more real for them, I ask myself? Then I think: Let’s send them all to the Space Station.
There they will eat freeze-dried food and be in uncomfortably close quarters. They can talk to each other or not, but until they work something out, they have to stay there. Maybe they will stare at the round globe of Earth, pushing and shoving each other out of the way to get the best view from the little portholes. And maybe, after a month or so of this, they will notice that the Earth intrinsically does not have borders or blue states and red states or Muslim countries or Christian countries.
And maybe after another month of being in the dark vastness of space, they will perceive the miracle of this planet that sustains life and how fragile it has become. Eventually, sick of eating freeze-dried ice cream, they may (the more with-it ones) come to grasp that, actually, there’s isn’t any other place we can live. And that to destroy the Earth, is to destroy our species (not to mention many others.)
Then maybe they will begin to talk and to compromise and to learn to get along. And that’s when we will let them come back, to join us at the adult table.
I thought about using a photo of the monkey that Russia sent into space here, but then I realized that would be maligning the monkey.