Fresh starts are full of hope and potential and possibilities, but they are also fragile and full of vulnerabilities. It is like planting a garden and hoping that it will not be killed by a late frost or insects or hungry animals. It is like a newborn that requires care and nurturing to survive in a seemingly indifferent world, or sometimes an openly hostile world.
We are at one of those periods in this nation that requires a fresh start. We are in the process of extricating ourselves from a very dark political period. We are in the midst of a worsening pandemic with no cohesive national recovery plan and, lurking in the background is the ever-increasing challenge of climate change. Facing these challenges, we must endure a period of limbo while the current administration denies these problems and jealously holds on to its waning power, for perhaps another two months. Meanwhile, we are left to our own devices to nurture and encourage the changes necessary for a fresh start.
We must be vigilant to head off any last-minute, devastating changes by a loose-cannon president who will never admit defeat, if he stays in character. We must rely on the other adults in the room to challenge and stop any last-minute abuses of power that might threaten the nation or the world.
And always, we must keep our eye on the prize, the light at the end of the tunnel, which is the opportunity to recover our sanity and our democracy in time to deal with the last stages of this pandemic and the looming challenges of planetary climate change.
In order to deal with those realities, we must make a fresh start, redefining a new politics, a new economics, a new social compact to reunify these United States of America. We must rededicate ourselves to the true destiny of this nation, begun over 200 years ago as an experiment in democracy, becoming the beacon of hope for the world. We must embrace the basic needs for cooperation, empathy, and social justice. We must support the human spirit and create a society, an economy and a politics that sustainably supports such a society.
We must break our patterns of accepting top-down solutions imposed by those with wealth and power, the corporations, the banks, etc. and rely on the democratic process of trust that ordinary citizens will come together to find workable and sustainable solutions, guided not by the lure of profit or power but by the welfare of the entire society and the human spirit.
We must accept our place on this planet as a part of the living structure - the web of life that sustains us.
To accomplish this will require determination, grit, hard work, a very adult mindset, and discipline. It will be about keeping our focus on creating the new beginnings that this fresh start affords us. It will require all of our most positive and focused energy and will leave no room for the childish indulgence of demonizing others, trying to get retribution or even punishment. We cannot afford to squander any of our energy on getting even. We must be willing to turn the page and look to the future; a new beginning which offers the promise of a sustainable and life-supporting future for all of us and for the planet.
We cannot accomplish this alone, we must find ways to band together to build a cooperative society even if it is, at times, merely a coalition of the willing.
A fresh start and a new beginning are within our grasp. We cannot fail in this endeavor. Our lives, our nation and the planet depend on it.