This week I felt similarly verklempt. I watched President Obama award Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, listened to the words these brothers shared and was overcome with the reality that people like me were responsible for this country and now people against me would steer the fate of our county for at least the next four years and probably eight as history shows.
When I say like me, I don't mean just that Obama was black. I mean people who can clearly build meaningful human connection, people who are self-made and at least aware of the privilege they hold, people who communicate with such decency and maturity and men who love, honor and respect their wives. After next Friday, this simply won't be true.
I don't know how to feel about what happens next. I am afraid of what I don't know and what I don't have. With the sheer volume of information available to me, I feel completely overwhelmed about political goings on. Every other story outlines a grim and hopeless image - all politicians are in someone's pocket, party lines are too rigid to get anything done and catastrophic decisions are on the horizon. It is in discomfort that we grow and so I debate with myself daily on how I should proceed.
Do I lean in to the information and educate myself about what is happening regardless of how depressing it might feel? Do I ignore it all in favor of my work, my home, my husband and my boys? Friends and family and the dozens of daily responsibilities in all of our lives can easily overshadow the work and energy required to be informed.
If it were my boys asking, I would say that although our symbol of hope is moving on, hope is not lost. I would tell them that they are brilliant and capable and can make a difference in the likely difficult times ahead. And that while there is a segment of this country that feels we hurt their odds of success and would have legislation passed that endanger our bodies and our rights in numerous ways, there are more allies than our oppononents would have us believe.
Hopefully I can heed my own advice.