2017 has been a hell of a year, hasn’t it? The list of lies, insults, assaults — physical, rhetorical, legal — efforts to undermine or out right punish minority communities, de-legitamize our intelligence agencies and in turn our safety, attempts to rationalize voting for a man news sources referred to as “credibly accused of pedophilia”, and the frequent scandals, revelations, and wrongdoings of the current White House occupants and its administration are long and vile with the sole purpose of undermining our lives, communities, and the public trust while stealing from us in order to bolster the American oligarchy.
All that in addition to the challenges all of us have faced in our personal lives, be it health, finances, homes, and relationships with family, friends, deaths of beloved spouses, or the ending of a relationship.
Hopefully you’ve experienced positive changes this year too. Meeting your personal, work, or creative goals and being rewarded or even successfully making goals for the first time. Maybe a relative demonstrated they accept you for who you are instead of who they thought you were. You might even have accepted yourself for who you are while not coming out. Don’t worry. It’s okay and entirely your decision on when, how, and with whom you share this information. You might have taken a chance in some other part of your life and discovered your life is better for it. Or you’ve made new friends or devoted your time to new causes.
Keeping the positive things in our lives — even the normalcy of everday life — in perspective is difficult when so much hate and turmoil in our culture and government is rampant. Speaking from experience here as several times anger threatened to overrule every other thought.
A simple truth persists. We matter. You matter. People of color matter. Women matter. Trans folks matter. Native Americans matter. Immigrants matter. Muslims and people of other faiths or no faith matter. People whose sexuality is anything but straight or none at all matter. Differenty abled people matter. Our communities matter. Our collective and individual visions matter. Our needs and desires matter. Our dignity matters.
We may only know and interact with one another here and there online and never face to face on this pale blue dot on which we live. Your words and thoughts and lives and kindnesses and humor and talents be they writing, art, music, or something else have mattered more than ever during this past year.
Thank you now and always for the gift of you.