It’s been a week and the dust is starting to settle.
Like many people, I had concerns about both major party candidates. Like many people, I was stunned by the results of the presidential election. Like many people, I’m asking myself ‘Okay. Now what?’
Pondering this, I’ve come to suspect I’m asking the wrong question. Instead, I’ve decided to ask myself, ‘Okay. Now how do I help?’
About four years ago, I finally admitted out loud I have serious misgivings with the major political parties within the U.S. I’ve come to realize, like many people, I’m smack-dab in the middle of a lot of the issues. It seems to me, with a little more compassion, seeking for understanding and common sense, there are viable solutions to these issues causing nosebleeds and black-eyes all over the country.
Unfortunately, rather than making progress right now, a lot of us are forced to lick wounds sustained by an incredibly ugly campaign season. I’m absolutely befuddled by how politicians can say and do anything pernicious, toxic and demoralizing to each other but then smile, half-hug-it-out and toast each other with their expensive, tax-payer-paid-for crystal goblets filled with insanely pretentious champagne. If any of us treated our loved ones in such a way, we would be justifiably chalked up as the ‘angry, bitter one’ and avoided during reunions at all costs.
It enrages me to consider how rather than use even a portion of the resources to help our communities in any one of numerous ways, nearly 1 BILLION dollars was used to try to convince the American public how heinous the other candidate was. Or how much less heinous…or whatever.
I just don’t get it. I don’t think I ever will. Spending anymore time wondering just means I’m wasting the resource of my time. Which brings me to my question. ‘Okay. Now how do I help?’ How can I be part of the solution? A force for good? How can I improve the situation for others? Because I know I can.
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t come from a place of arrogance. And I don’t have delusions of grandeur. I just know I have something to offer those around me. I’ve spent nearly 40 years figuring out what that is.
So what is my superpower? Well, you see, I am an unconventional princess.
When I was born, the fairies flitting around me didn’t bestow upon me ‘lips as red as a rose’ or a singing voice that would cause the birds to sing and clouds to part. Nor was I bestowed with breathtaking, heart-skipping beauty or rapier wit and a dazzling intellect. Instead, I was given dimples, Shirley Temple hair, two left feet, a very vivid imagination and the gift of happiness…plus a noogie for good measure.
I was raised with four brothers, finding escape from stinky feet and burping contests (Okay. I’ll be honest. I always won those) with the classic bedtime stories of princesses and castles and all things fantastical. I grew up with unicorns galloping through my head and I couldn’t bare the thought of drawing a picture without properly representing every color of the rainbow.
It was a glorious childhood.
Early on, I realized my career path involved working with children and took so much joy in the field of education. I loved telling stories and was proud to have been offered a job based on how I read a children’s book. (I accepted the position)
On September 11, 2001, I clutched a seven month old baby and watched the events unfold in NYC. Deep within me I knew this child would not live in the same world I grew up in. It hurt my heart and I ached to find a way to make everything okay, even if only for a little while.
We are living in a very uncertain time. We’re surrounded by suspicion, hurt and weariness. One of the most troubling consequences of this is the children around us have to try to make sense of it all…even though it doesn’t even make sense to us. This was no more clearer to me then when LuLu informed me that ‘Hillary Clinton eats small children’. Can you imagine the nightmares? (Don’t misunderstand. Donald Trump comes with his own set of glurgy, salacious misinformation.) For the first time I considered the heaviness these vicious months have heaped upon our kids. We haven’t been able to escape it. What makes you think our children have?
As the years have passed and I’ve found my writer’s voice. I’ve started realizing the power I have to spread happiness and whimsy, good cheer and hope. I don’t take that lightly. Many of you know I am in the process of finishing my first children’s book. This journey has run parallel to that of figuring out just how I’m suppose to help.
I know I can bring a little bit of joy to children. Even if it’s for only a little while, I bring to them color, brightness and a vivid fun. In my world, monkeys really do chase weasels around mulberry bushes even if neither are indigenous to the climate. It may not seem like much to the mature, discerning eye but I fully intend to create places where colors of the rainbow are all properly represented. Where childhoods are not weighed down by the confusing way politicians treat each other pre or post election.
The help I offer may not show immediate results but somehow, someway I hope it makes this darkened world a little brighter. If not today then hopefully tomorrow.
So if you like what you see and read, stick around for awhile. I’d be honored to tell you my stories.
In the meantime, dear reader, I encourage you to ask yourself the same question:
‘How can I help?’