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We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows
                    Robert Frost

I’ve been trying for days to write about my feelings during this complicated time for our country. We are divided as a nation. Many families are also divided by our recent election. All in all, I find it heartbreaking. There are protests all over the country some of which are violent. It seems we’ve come so far away from the secret center where there is harmony and calm. 

On Sunday, at a service I attended at the Grants Pass Center for Spiritual living, we held hands and sang, “Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with Me.” There were tears streaming down faces. There was fear and disappointment. There were probably many differing opinions, but we were acknowledging in the joining of hands, that we are all one.  I believe this is the center we need to find during this time of diversion. 

The election is over. We have a new president. While he didn’t win the majority vote of the American people, the Electoral College has put him into office. Many of us, like in Robert Frost’s poem, are dancing around in a ring, supposing what will happen next. Some of us are fearful our new president will fulfill his campaign promises to reverse LGBT rights, throw out people who’ve come to America for what she has always promised, “A better life.”  We fear he will empower white supremicists, build walls, take away health care from millions of poor Americans and end a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. We are terrified he will be the dictator he has promised.

We all know our country needs to unite. But unity is impossible with so much fear and hatred. We have to find the center which I believe is love. I know that sounds idealistic, but we can disagree and still love each other as long as that disagreement doesn’t take the liberties, the rights, or the dignity away from other human beings. That we cannot and must not tolerate.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

                                            Emma Lazarus

Is it any wonder why she is weeping? 

Who among us doesn't love the Statue of Liberty and everything she stands for? It welcomed so many immigrants into our country, including my husband and his parents who fled Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust. My husband's parents were physicians who came to love this country. They learned our language. They became certified to practice medicine here. The first thing my father-in-law did after receiving his citizenship was join the Army to fight for the country that saved his family. My husband became a medical school dean and spent his career ensuring that every qualified student regardless of his race, gender or religion, could be admitted to medical school and, with hard work, become a physician. These were good people who deserved the chance this country gave to them. They contributed to our society through their service for the greater good. I get teary eyed thinking about what they must have felt when they first saw our Statue of Liberty.

 At its dedication, President Grover Cleveland said, the statue's "stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man's oppression until Liberty enlightens the world." 

Let's not forget those words or what it has always meant to be an American. 

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with every one of us. 



Kitty Woodson
11/15/2016 12:24pm

Thank you, Suzy. I needed to read your blog today. Amen and God be with us all. Kitty

11/15/2016 12:38pm

Ultimately, there is peace in my heart, but I'm not yet ready to embrace unity as it pertains to this election. I accept its outcome but reaching across the aisle is not something I'm able to do at this point, at least not wholeheartedly. I expect I'll get there eventually, however. Thanks for this post.

Linda Wilkinson
11/15/2016 3:05pm

Thanks for putting into words what 59 million of us feel. Sad to say had the results been the opposite we would all be struggling still. This election stirred a silent hatred that will take decades to recover from. I will stand with those who need defending til the day I die.

11/15/2016 3:17pm

Thank you, Susan. It's difficult to keep love in the front of my heart now, but it's more important than ever. We will get through to the other side.

Kathy Goldner
11/15/2016 3:39pm

Yes, love and peace and vigilance.

Bob Olds
11/15/2016 4:44pm

This is an incredibly powerful post, a wonderful expression of what so many of us are feeling now. Thank you, Susan.

Andreas Goldner
11/16/2016 9:15am

Great blog. You have truely sumed it all up. Let us hope thast the world is listening.

Dan Kaufman
11/16/2016 3:41pm

Good post, Susan. But not for me...not yet. I understand political campaigns. You fire up the base to get elected, then compromise to govern. But this candidate and this campaign are different. His success means our diminishment. His victory is a victory for disrespect. Yes, time leavens, and love, ultimately, is the answer. Right now, the rawness of our nation stuns me.

Jane Sutherland
11/16/2016 4:02pm

Love what you have written, Susan. I fear we are in for a difficult time. I pray our country can pass through it and once again the statue can stand torch held high, a welcoming smile on her face.

11/18/2016 2:46pm

Thank you for your wise words and your stated hope that somehow we can come together. The only thing I can think to do is contribute super generously to Doctors Without Borders, ACLU and The Southern Poverty Law Center. That and being super polite—even in traffic...

Martha Miller
11/18/2016 2:58pm

Thanks, Susan . . . I needed this very much. A soft but firm expression I found soothing and helpful. I keep thinking of Desiderata:
"In spite of what you may think, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should . . . "

11/20/2016 3:01pm

Beautifully said, Susan. I couldn't bring myself to vote for either candidate, but I did vote for state issues. Maybe, we can get a brain transplant for Trump—if only we could find a volunteer.

Martha R
11/21/2016 5:58pm

Thanks. Your description of your husband's great dedication to the young people of this country reminds me of all the good that comes from welcoming others to these shores.

Barry Wilson
12/23/2016 6:25am

Regardless of one’s recent political leanings and recent voting record, the slogans of “Stronger Together” and “Love Trumps Hate” should well become watchwords as to how American can more proactively live out the rest of their respective life just as Susan’s poetry and novel writing has always shown us. As both Hanukkah and Christmas 2016 approach I am reminded of the need to spread and nurture our love of humanity with others in the following 3 quotes from the family American Journalist and community activist, Dorothy Day:
1.“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”
2.“The older I get, the more I meet people, the more convinced I am that we must only work on ourselves, to grow in grace. The only thing we can do about people is to love them.”
3.“Love and ever more love is the only solution to every problem
that comes up.
If we love each other enough, we will bear with each other's faults
and burdens.
If we love enough, we are going to light a fire in the hearts of
And it is love that will burn out the sins and hatreds that sadden
us. It is love that will make us want to do great things for each
other. No sacrifice and no suffering will then seem too much.”

01/04/2017 12:11am

A very well written post...never read such issue before. Thanks fo informing.

04/12/2017 6:50am

This is an interesting point of view. You have gain one more subscriber right now!


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