Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stormy Weather

“When it rains…”

“…It pours!” My friend finished my sentence loudly and with tons of feeling.

We’d both been having a rough couple of weeks: those types of weeks when nothing seems to go right and when everything closes in on you. The domino effect of bad luck had invaded our lives, and we were in one of those dreaded funks.

Looking back, the things that were bothering us weren’t really all that bad. They were simple things, the bumps and turbulence that life hands you sometimes…just to make sure you’re still paying attention. It’s those kinds of times, those kinds of bad days and frustrating moments, that make the good days that much better. It’s important to keep things in perspective, to not get bogged down in the bad, and to always appreciate the good.

It’s easy to say all that now, looking back, having watched a week of devastation on the East coast from Super Storm Sandy, having heard about the countless tragedies affecting those around us, tragedies much worse that the simple problems I had been facing. But even those facing tragedies and bad days today will surely have a brighter tomorrow…that’s just the ebb and flow of life.

And I sincerely hope that that’s also the ebb and flow of government and the future of our nation. Let’s face it, y’all; America is in one of those funks I described earlier. Our nation is having a “bad day.” We’re still the greatest nation in the world, but the beauty of America, the beauty of freedom and democracy, there’s been a shadow cast on it lately.

We used to be united; a country full of opinions and differences but that was ultimately cohesive: a team, a family. We’re not united anymore, though. Opinions and differences that were once respectively shared now only seem to tear us apart; the politicians leading us jump on those differences, highlighting them, driving the wedge between us further and further down.

The last few weeks have been a blood bath. Television, Facebook, Twitter: everyone’s been abuzz with election commentary and mudslinging. On Facebook and Twitter alone, I’ve witnessed countless personal attacks over whose voting for whom and whose opinion is “right.” Friends fight with friends, and the division between us is driven even further.

But like I said, maybe this is just a funk, a rough period for America. Maybe one day soon the economy will turn around and relieve some of the stresses Americans have been feeling. Maybe one day soon politicians will reach across the aisle and join together on making important changes. Maybe one day soon we’ll be a great nation united once again, with respect and love for each other and all of our freedoms.

On Tuesday, I will vote. I will exercise my right and freedom as an American citizen. I will do so among countless fellow citizens, citizens who may not be casting the same vote as I but for whom I have nothing but the utmost respect. On Tuesday, we have a chance for a new beginning, no matter who is elected. We have the opportunity to start fresh and come together once again. We will vote for different candidates; we will never see eye-to-eye. But we will always remember that we are a nation, a nation of diversity and unity that has the potential for greatness.

Stormy weather will pass, and the sun will shine once again.

Author's Note: This was written in response to The Lightning and the Lightning Bug's prompt "Storm." Hope you'll join us!!

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