I purposefully avoid writing about politics for many reasons. But this day, November 3, 2020, is one of those historic days people will remember for a long time. Because of America’s vast influence globally, this is not simply an American moment. This day is an inflection point in world history. I woke in the pre-dawn hours as I normally do, and set about preparing for the day as if I was about to take an international flight. In a sense, all of us will be taking a long journey today. And so, the sun has risen on this much anticipated day of great uncertainty. For my part, I am doing the only thing that makes sense to me. I will light the beacons of hope.
We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. – Abraham Lincoln
We all have a thousand frames of reference from which to judge our lives. No two people have walked the same paths in the history of humanity. Each of us have had to follow solitary trails at times, alone and uncertain where that unmarked path may lead. But just as billions before us, we persevered. We pressed forward and have not perished. There were times on each of our personal journeys when the dark nights of our souls overwhelmed us. In troublesome times, we can lose our way amongst the labyrinth of obstacles blocking our progress. These trials and tribulation are what shape us, as much as the joys and celebrations. In order to advance, we need focused attention (mindfulness) on a goal – a point in the distance on which to concentrate. With prospects unclear, we must make the beacons of hope our focal point. Whether near or far, these beacons will illuminate the path forward.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Just looking out the window, this day does not seem that much different than hundreds or thousands of others. Rain is falling, the leaves are falling, the temperature is falling. But there is something up. Something inexplicable is in the air. The modern intellect knows this day is different. For months, the inescapable mass-media information has explained the importance of this day. Well over one hundred million individuals will vote to decide the future vision of America, and by extension, influence the worldview of billions. Just decades ago, information about distant events was delayed by the capabilities of media channels. But now we all live in a non-stop simulation of reality. What is real is what we accept to be real. I choose to accept hope over soundbites.
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
I know that right this moment, there are thousands of media channels churning out stories and data all pointing towards a truly unknown result. The result cannot be known yet, but my hackles (the hairs on the back of an animals neck) are up. I sense the urgency of those unseen messages, like an animal senses an earthquake. But, for now, I resist immersing myself in the ocean of sponsored perceptions. It will be there waiting for me when I choose to dive in. In order to find my way back though, I embrace hope. Our primal human senses are purposefully stimulated constantly in order to profit the digital illusionists. It takes conscious effort to limit our consumption to what is truly comprehensible.
What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. W. H. Auden
This day, with the sea breeze cooling my second cup of coffee, I know the world will keep turning and the day will turn to night. Change will come – it is inescapable. There is no hiding from this one truth, of which I am certain, hope will triumph. Bring the positive light into your heart and become a beacon of hope for the future.
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring