This morning, my fiance and I were talking about the Trump presidency and I had one of those “wait, how did we end up here” moments.
Working side by side writing, as we do every day, we were talking about politics and our despair over Trump’s cabinet picks. And that conversation led to something else, and then I don’t remember what, and neither does he, when suddenly, I busted out with a shrill “Well Well Welllllll” from the legendary song and charity single that was recorded by super-group United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa in 1985: “We Are The World.”
(I falsely attributed my spectacular “well well welllll” to Michael Jackson’s role in the song, but I should have credited Cyndi Lauper)
After my outburst, and my fiance saying “well and there’s THAT,” I said, “you KNOW we have to go watch We Are The World now, right?”
So we did.
And for seven glorious moments, we forgot everything else — Donald Trump, worsening relations with China, growing racism and white supremacist movements, every other scary thing happening in our country right now — as we watched some of the greatest music legends of all time come together as one for greater good.
I have a confession. I’ve been slower in my recovery from our election defeats than most of the people I’ve talked to. I took it very personally in a way. I began to feel that my long career in serving oppressed and vulnerable populations has all been for naught. I’m talking about my REAL work before I became a “hack writer” whose website has been unjustly included on a list of fake news sites. Many years of me and so many other people working towards a more progressive society. A safe place for all people. A nurturing environment for children and women. A nation that works to build its people — ALL its people — up, not continuously push them down.
After so much work for so many years (and decades), here we are back at Square One.
It’s discouraging. It’s depressing. It’s overwhelming.
But we can’t give up, and we who are weak in our faith and hope right now must seek out those who are strong in their hope, like my fiance is. While I lay in bed sucking my thumb and whimpering for a week after the election, he was organizing and planning and strategizing. If you’re feeling discouraged like me, find that solid rock person somewhere in your life who will remind you that we WILL prevail in the end. Progress will never be, HAS NEVER BEEN, denied permanently. The flowers WILL grow up through the cracks in the concrete.
Watching “We Are The World” again — a video from my hopeful youth when I still believed that most people were good and everything would always be OK — was a powerful reminder for me that though there have always been worries, trouble, and despair over the state of the world and our country, there have also always been inspiring people — legendary and ordinary — who come together for a greater good.
Watching this video won’t solve our problems, but my life experience has been that in hard times, finding as many bright spots as you can every day adds up to give us strength and hope.
Here is the video of the making of “We Are The World.”
Featured image via screengrab