Rebirth of Hope

It is Wednesday afternoon. I am writing this after watching Joe Biden’s inauguration. My eyes teared up through his speech, and Amanda Gordon’s poem, and Reverend Sylvester Beaman’s benediction. I feel relieved and hopeful after the nightmare of the last four years and the attack on the Capitol earlier this month. I thank God for this day. I am thankful that Biden is our new president, and I especially welcome his message of healing and unity. As I listened, my heart raised two prayers: Yes, God, make it so! and Show me what I must change in myself to help make the United States the country You want it to be.

To be a united country, and especially a united democracy, does not mean that we all share the same beliefs. How could it? Our beliefs are formed by our faiths, our races and heritages, our upbringings, our educations, our economic statuses, our occupations, and our experiences. We are all different, and each of us brings something unique to the table. So, how do we come together? How can we arrive at consensus?

We need to respectfully listen to one another. Ask people what they mean by what they say. Ask them why they feel as they do. Listen to their stories. Not so that we can change their feelings to match ours, but so that we can understand. And not that we necessarily have to accept their values as our own, but to see what we can learn, to fill in the gaps of our own knowledge.

I believe there are absolute truths, absolute rights and wrongs. But when we hold to our views rigidly and make decisions based on absolutes, our choices may have unanticipated consequences. That’s why we need to consider what people different from ourselves have to say. We need to see the whole picture.

We are going to disagree with each other. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to rebuild our country. If we understand each other, we can find ways to support each other. It’s going to take work and change on the part of every individual (yes, I just said you have to change—but I admit I do, too) to heal the division and inequity in our country, and it won’t be fixed in four years. But we can make progress before we hand the work off to the next generations.

Please, God, bless America. Bless our new president. Guide us as we work toward a more perfect union. Amen.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.
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3 Responses to Rebirth of Hope

  1. Anonymous says:

    Andrea, this is one of the best pieces I’ve read on this topic. Thank you for sharing your voice with the world. I’m sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry, but I am not buying it. Four years of scorched earth by Biden and company and now they are standing on what example to teach hope and healing and “unity”? It’s like being bludgeoned repeated to near death for years and then after the perpetrator has taken all they can, by some miracle you end up at the hospital and they are masquerading as the Dr. in charge of your care. I’ll take my chances elsewhere, thank you very much…I would like to add that perhaps you would like to read your article and apply your own prescription of unity and listening and truth by not beginning your thoughts with calling the last 4 years a nightmare and not once owe up to how the nightmare was craftily orchestrated on lies and a refusal to listen or desire an ounce of unity, hope or even decency for the office of the Presidency.

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    • I’ve been thinking for four days about how to reply to your comment. I’m sorry my words caused you so much distress. Clearly, you experienced the last four years differently than I did. I will not try to convince you otherwise.
      But I stand by my characterization of the last four years as a nightmare, though I agree it was “craftily orchestrated on lies.” Here are just a few of things I observed:
      • Environmental standards scrapped, including pulling out of the Paris Accord and gutting the EPA, ostensibly so that businesses would not bear the burden of compliance (ie. coming up with new production processes that cost more but don’t pollute as much)
      • Candidate Trump’s reluctance to provide copies of his tax return (When his 2016 tax return surfaced, I found out I paid many times more than the $750 he did—and I’m not a multi-millionaire. I’m guessing you paid more than him, too.)
      • Separation of parents and children at the border (I am not denying that they snuck in illegally, or that some of them could be drug dealers, thieves, and murderers. I am only pointing out that it was an unusually harsh measure to take against innocent children, some of whose parents felt they had no choice but to flee from their homelands because their lives were in imminent danger.)
      • Our President meeting with foreign dictators (of countries not allies of the United States) Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un—with no one else in the room to document what was discussed.
      • A violent mob storming the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence” after attending a MAGA rally. Five people were killed.
      If this is not the stuff of nightmares, then I don’t know what is. I maintain that the last four years truly were a nightmare and I am relieved the regime has changed.
      I am not trying to make you come over to my side. Why would you, if the last four years have been positive for you? I’m just saying that people whose outlook is different than yours have valid reasons for their opinions as well. Thank you for reading my response. I bear you no ill will, and I hope you will forgive my insistence.

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