CAUTION: More cheese than I’m used to is ahead
I’ve been reflecting on my trip to DC, and it was truly a great experience. The foundation of our country is a remarkable one. The fact that the framers knew that it wasn’t perfect and created ways to peacefully right the ship in a well-mannered way was revolutionary (/rimshot). That didn’t always work. The Civil War was necessary, but it was an anomaly. The seed of democracy that was planted and began taking root throughout the world is awe-inspiring. Seeing behind the curtain a bit at a couple of my favorite historical figures (Washington and Lincoln… I know, very original :P) was awesome. These were not perfect men. They had their faults, but they were not afraid to confront them. Washington freed his slaves. Lincoln did remarkable things in the face of and in spite of depression and anxiety.
In contrast to the uplifting and inspiring, we have the horrific and sickening. The blights of slavery and the holocaust are gut-wrenching. Through that darkness were small pinpricks of light that were, thankfully, able to bring us out on the right side of these dark epochs. I am one who refuses to live in fear of things and is constantly trying to see the good in people. I fight to see it, and in my naivete, I think I often miss the more nefarious intentions of others. I pride myself in being able to see where someone else is coming from even if I disagree with them, but it is beyond comprehension how a human being can treat someone else the way that I know they have. I readily admit to choking back tears for most of the 2-3 hours we were at the holocaust museum. I couldn’t keep it together. The contrast to my firm belief that people are inherently good was striking.
I suppose the conclusion that I came to (for myself) is that there is true evil in this world. And even the “good guys” have faults, but if one can look in the mirror and admit that we are not perfect, admit our failures, our flaws, and spit in the eye of those weaknesses, and stand up in spite of those weaknesses, we still have nothing to fear. I need to be my best self, Love life, and Try to leave the world a better place.