We all need a little encouragement now and then, especially as the sense of crisis mounts and the options for meaningful change appear to dwindle. Things often seem like they’re on the cusp of improving, only to slide back again on the heels of an inevitable backlash of narrow minds and political muscle. Yet this may be more surface-deep than tangible if we take a long view on the arc of change. As forces of authoritarianism stand ready for a resurgence, let this serve as a reminder that in reality nothing is under control.
Children actually kind of get this already, which may seem strange to any parents out there. But consider it from another view, in which young people face many challenges both real and imagined, as they work to navigate the choppy waters. Didn’t we all go through this on some level as well?
So as we enter a year that promises to be more challenging than the last (which is really saying something, given the spectacle of disaster that was 2016), we would do well to be reminded of the benefits of staying calm and meeting the days ahead with a sense of purpose and forthright commitment. The forces of control may be largely illusory on some level, unless we accord them more weight than they merit. Here’s a call to deny their power and reclaim our own as well.