Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
Times can become so dark that you start feeling like you’re walking around in emotional shadow, waiting for the next disappointment. Too much bad news. Too much corruption and degradation and death. No law with the power to call wrong-doers to account. Not enough social pressure to counterbalance lies and unfounded cynicism and bare-faced hate. You can’t travel. You can’t party. You can’t indulge in a decadent restaurant sit down dinner. Anyone can fall ill any time. Anyone can die. People you know do. Where can you go for a break? Where can you find reassurance that everything can be alright? Oddly, I turned to a political convention—the first I ever watched from start to finish.
I’m not political, but I am empathetic. I needed the rah-rah, the smiles, the comradery. I almost didn’t care what would be said. I thought I had an idea of what it would be. I was hungry for a sense of community with real people—diverse people caring enough to wear masks with others. I wanted to lift myself with positive thoughts. I loved the distance format because I had a chance to see the faces close-up on camera, the way I’d see them if we were talking together before COVID-19. The format was far more personal than someone shouting into a microphone in a coliseum crowded with distracted people I loved when we were allowed to see the speakers holding their cell phones out for a super-selfie communication—regular people without glitz. I loved hearing real stories. I loved feeling real emotions. (I teared up twice.)
Normal isn’t perfect. It never was. No one can fix everything for everyone. But it’s nice to hear from optimists who want to try. And, as a former professor of communication, I appreciated so many really well constructed, well delivered speeches from people who telegraphed sincerity and authenticity. My morality comes from within and it isn’t negotiable. When I betray myself, I feel the consequences even if no one else knows. I forgive myself, because I know I’ll do better another day. I hope for the same from others.
No, I don’t expect Joe Biden to be canonized as a saint…or Kamala Harris, either. I just want a responsible president who will do his best and a vice president who will help and not hurt, one who could step up if the occasion demanded. I want people who care about my country. And, no, I don’t expect to see all the changes I dream of seeing. But it was nice for a few nights to know I’m not the only one missing better and dreaming of better. In fact, I’m even more enthusiastic about voting than I was last week. And enthusiasm isn’t something I’ve felt for a long while. I didn’t miss the balloons filled with hot air.