Whoah. What just happened? Does the end of this year at all resemble what we thought we knew twelve months ago?
As I reflect on 2008, it seems as though the world as we knew it redefined itself. As the stock market fell, heroes like Michael Phelps and Dara Torres inspired us, as new players like Sarah Palin, Rachel Maddox, and Rick Warren emerged on the scenes. And while headlines told us about toxicity in our financial system, our food supply and our politicians, comedians kept us laughing when we otherwise might have cried.
Somehow we survived it all: the downturns, the corporate scandals and the crises. And we survived with our hope, faith and dreams still in tact. Because that is who we are.
We are mothers, fathers, inspirers, creators, nurturers, and care givers. We are teachers, lawyers, accountants, nurses and writers. And the future rests in our resiliently remarkable hands.
We are soundly educated, compassionately connected and have been given the tools to affect the change that is now required to restore the world to one worthy of our children’s inheritance.
The opportunity is tremendous. The adventure is ours for the taking, and the calling is that of our children’s voices asking us to use our hearts and our minds to seek to return the world to one that they deserve.
Yet as the world as we know it changes, we must not be daunted by the enormity of the task at hand. But rather, we should collectively engage our passions, our hearts and our minds and collaborate on how we can each take one tiny step forward, just as our children first learned to do as toddlers.
Together, if we each do our part, we can restore the integrity that is now lacking in our system, our food supply, our banks and our government. And through these small courageous acts, we could create a ripple of hope whose force is more powerful than any one of us could achieve individually.
What steps can we take? Cutting back on a digital cable package in order to buy more fruits and veggies? Reducing the artificial colors in your child’s diet? Switching out just one conventional lightbulb for a compact fluorescent lightbulb since they last ten times longer?
Perhaps it is carpooling with a friend, reaching out to a local Congressman or serving on the nutrition board at your child’s school.
As we stand together, with our children’s hands in ours, can you imagine the collective strength of what we could achieve if we each took just one step forward?
In the words of poet June Jordan, “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
And as I look into the eyes of our children, we are the ones that they have been waiting for, too.