I believe it is a new day with all the possibilities each new day brings. I am moved by the ripple effect of our Presidential election. I believe that each of us are interdependent with all peoples and Nature Herself. I believe it is the highest wisdom to recognize we are our brother and sister’s keeper. I believe the Obama administration must address the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic throughout the world, building on the singular great legacy of the Bush administration and his development of PEPFAR. I believe it is time to name the many skilled women in this country to important positions of power, beginning with the Presidential Cabinet. Women are more than 50% of our population. They must be represented by wise women in our leadership. Along with the efforts to eradicate sexism and racism, I believe it is time to see persons of all sexual orientations deserve the same rights and recognition as all people in a democratic country. I believe it is time to recognize the importance of using the wisdom of genuine Elders as consultants for major decisions. As my own mentor, Rebbe Zalman Schachter-Shalomi taught me, anyone can grow old, it takes effort to become wise. Or, as the Nigerian folk song goes, “You know the Tribe is in trouble when the youth are angry, the adults are bewildered, and there are no Elders.” One such current Elder, Nelson Mandela, took a stand when freed from prison by declaring that the violence, no matter how justified, must stop with this generation. I believe it is time for us to grow up as a people and put war aside. Of course we will protect ourselves from the cancer of terrorism, excising it as needed wherever it is found. But preventative measures are the way to avoid cancer. I believe these measures begin with working towards every child in the world feeling safe and well-fed as she or he goes to bed each night. I believe we are one body, known as Gaia, the living earth. That is not just philosophy, as important as it is to love wisdom. It is good science to recognize our mutual interdependence with all life. I pray this administration will focus on the essential work needed to protect the environment for the future of our children. I believe the words Thoreau offered, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” May we all look back on this moment in history as the dawn of a vital new day for all. Finally, I believe in the power of prayer, particularly prayer with open hands that are willing to get dirty as we work together.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.