It’s January 1, and I’ve seen sooooo many posts hailing good riddance to 2016. I’ll admit, it hasn’t been our best year as a country, as a people, a human community. And, that’s precisely why we need to remember it. Yes, let’s let go of the anger and meanness and hurt and sadness and grief (if you’re ready) and prepare ourselves to move forward. Let’s let go of what held us back and kept us from being brave. We can let go of the shoulds and ought tos and the need to perfect and please. We can let go of so much about what made 2016 a contemptible year for so many.
But, please, please let’s remember. Let’s remember what we’ve learned: that we need to listen more, that we need to make space for struggle and extend grace in disagreement. Let’s remember that we are, NONE OF US, perfect or infallible. Let’s remember that the courageous choice is rarely the comfortable one. Let’s remember that we still have work to do, that reconciliation is born out of honest, engaged conversation, that there is more we share in common than that which separates us. Let’s please remember that all lives are sacred and all lives matter and that acknowledging the oppression of one people doesn’t negate the value of others. Let’s remember to pause and to take another’s perspective. Let’s remember that there are pockets of people in every community, every church, every school, every workplace, in both political parties who feel forgotten, betrayed, disappointed and alone. Let’s remember.
Let’s remember that magic happens in the midst of the ordinary everydayness of our lives, that good things happen when we least expect them. Let’s remember that we have the ability to make a difference, that our voices matter. Let’s remember that our words matter, and kindness matters. Let’s remember that we are enough, that gratitude is the antidote to scarcity, that we can be brave and afraid in the same moment. Let’s remember.
I’m all for the year in rearview – keep your eyes forward and aim yourself towards the journey ahead, but glance back every now and then, and remember…