My Turn: A holiday message 20/20

  • ALAN HARRIS

Published: 12/22/2020 4:27:22 PM

This Christmas, let us all be thankful that we’ve reset the clock on an era that in every way personified a complete attack on truth and the positive moral values we know provide respect for all the citizens of the country, regardless of race, national origin, cultural and religious beliefs.

We’ve given ourselves a great gift to be finally rid of the Trumpian apostasy, as I call it. The cruelty of the last four years, however, will die a slow death, while the pace of the epidemic hits new heights almost daily. How quickly Republicans ditch this incompetent quack for the sake of their own survival finally, remains a question.

History is moving much faster than most of us can apprehend. And we’ve witnessed how a political movement, based solely on cultish subservience can arrest the attention and sensibility of a large mass of people.

But we are consumed by unbelievable acts and unbearable tragedy in a play nobody should have written, let alone witnessed, and the ticket price has been high. But most of us, it turns out, have known better than to be dumbed down by abject incompetence and tomfoolery.

Now is the time to repair our hearts and minds, return to the civilization to which we rightfully aspire and which is our true soul as a people and country. The COVID-19 epidemic has separated the heroes from the cowards.

The coward in the White House sputters and fumes, knowing his demise is nigh. The winding down of the Trump administration and its long trail of tears, a far too trenchant ritual of self-flagellation by way of passé theatrics.

So let’s rejoice and sing and dance. Be wise and sure and safe from chance. Though separate from loved ones, there is no distance that separates us in thought.

The hypoxia of this current illness is a metaphor for the places in which we have not breathed truth when we knew better, when we ignored the advice of experts, when we are lodged in thoughts we cannot shake or turn to healing measures.

Christmas is a time of year when we return to our knowledge that healing comes from within as well as from scientific discovery. It is our inner powers that do the lifting, our determination to rebalance our faith with actions that connect our souls and energy with the highest. We have this power.

If we love our neighbors, then we have all the power we need to protect each other, remain in the light. The virus spreads among the unaware, capriciously, indifferently. Our test is to remain in light, remain conscious, for that is our true defense.

Follow the rules set down by Dr. Fauci and the experts. Ignore the foolishness of unmasked events, the pride of self-righteousness that puts others in danger, including ourselves.

Though my family is spread far and wide, we have accepted the facts of the present and adjusted to the reality. My neighbors, John and Mary Farquar, are more concerned about a daughter sharing a house with fellow millennials in Boston, and a son out and about in Austin. I see the incredible emergence of Black writers, actors, politicians, civic leaders across the nation pulling back the veil of racism and proclaiming their rightful place in all corners of life in these United States, yet it still feels newly emergent, embryonic.

The country is slowly growing up and discarding its useless baggage. It never needed it, of course — we were always supposed to be one people.

2021 may well be the year we begin to heal the rifts that hobbled our abilities as a nation to act in the interests of all. The pandemic has been the leveler. Black Lives Matter has been a touchstone; the Trump presidency has been an illustration of how corruption excoriates every principle that founded the Union.

We are all complicit in its ascendancy and its demise. We control, the people control or should, the instruments that enable us to connect with the true spirit of our founding fathers. We’ve been living in a dream, a dystopia, and now a pandemic, the severity of which has been exacerbated by selfishness, ignorance, greed and any sense of responsibility to expertise.

But pause we must. A look around us. A search for empathy, personal responsibility, the highest principles that make us Americans. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best gifts we’ve afforded ourselves. Lest we forget Tiny Tim: “God bless us, every one!”

Shelburne Falls resident Alan Harris writes, sings, cooks up hopes and wishes for a wonderful Christmas and better year ahead.


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