Little children won yesterday. Regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity, all children won. They won when we elected a President who quoted one of my favorite Catholic hymnals. The idea that God was quoted during a President-elect speech, and how he would raise us all up on eagles wings, won my soul. This truly was the battle of the nation’s soul and good won yesterday triumphantly. Then there was my favorite chapter in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Specifically Ecclesiastes chapter 3 versus 1-8 won yesterday. The very first verse even reminds us of how everything that happens, happens at the time God chooses. This reminder and the idea in verse 3 that the time for healing has arrived, won yesterday. Healing won yesterday.
Representation also won yesterday. All forms of it. From the youngest ever elected senator, now turned oldest ever elected President. Then there was the first Professor as our First Lady. As a fellow Professor with a zeal for nurturing the next generation of learners, educators won last night and I was exhilarated when we got our very own shout out from the President-elect. Then there was the first woman, the first black woman, the first south-Asian woman, the first Jamaican woman, the first child of an immigrant, the first HBCU graduate to become Vice President-elect. To say I am in awe of this audacious moment is an understatement. Diversity truly won yesterday and it was joyous.
And just when I couldn’t stop feeling emotional, just when I finally told my daughter to become inspired by her leaders, to say her name and know her name, the leader, Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris explained once more why ‘We the People’ won yesterday. We won for all our children. We won so that they could do as she suggested: ‘Dream with ambition. Lead with conviction. And see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way.” Democracy is joyful, full of hope, and dreams when ‘We the People’ lead with character, empathy, love, and respect for one another. That’s what won yesterday, democracy, character, plus good, healing, representation, diversity. They all won for one thing and one thing only, our children. Keep winning for them. They deserve the very best this thing called life has to offer. They also deserve inspirational leaders like Joe and Kamala who won yesterday.
At the time of this writing and given the urgency of the situation we all find ourselves in today, a fierce courage is brimming. More than 62 million people have made their voices heard in early voting. For them, this isn’t the time for despair, or self-pity, no need for silence or fear, as suggested by Toni Morrison (here). There will always be elements to curtail our voices. Even if victory was theirs yesterday, over the long haul, they lose, because of this fierce courage to vote. The burning issue of our time, one that should consume everyone every single day on the eve of the greatest election of all times is how to keep your fierce courage, your disruptive singular courage to vote. In the wake of all the political discourse and many, many negative news surrounding the election, I watched on TV yesterday as people joyfully marched to the polls. It’s a movement aptly called ‘Joy to the Polls’ (see here and here) one that reflects the resilience of ‘we the people.’ The dancing crowd waiting in lines for over hours is democracy in action, a fierce courage in action.
Vote they often say, as if your live depends on it. It does. Vote because elections have consequences. It does. Vote because your vote matters. It does. Vote so you can bear witness to this thing called democracy. You can. Vote so you can change the stakes that have never been higher. You can. Vote so you stop the stifling of our voices. You can. Vote so you can make ‘We the People,’ work. You can. Vote because all we have, when all seems helpless, when all seems hopeless, when disruptive forces try to suppress our voices, is our fierce courage to exercise our power. Vote!
The power to effect the change we all want starts with your ability to exercise your singular vote. Your vote can change the deliberate destruction of the fight for equality. Your vote can change the deliberate destruction of our climate. Your vote can change the deliberate destruction of science. Your vote can change the deliberate destruction of morality, right versus wrong. Your vote can change leadership so it reflects we the people. This singular power that you alone possess can expand our democracy, make it more inclusive, more reasoned, more sustainable to fight for liberty, fight for justice, fight for equality, fight for the voiceless. The power is in you all along. For this election, your power, your vote is as crucial now more than ever. There is no time indeed for despair, or self-pity, no need for silence or even fear, instead take that fierce courage you possess to the ballot box and vote. This is what I intend to keep, my passionate courage and power to vote.