It is Independence Day, a holiday for some and a retail work day for many. It is a difficult day for us as a nation; this year, perhaps more so than in many decades. Throughout history people have faced challenging times, periods of tyranny and genocide. The day marks such a period for Native people here in the US. This year, many people, regardless of their ethnicity, are speaking of growing tyranny and their fears for the future.
Yet, in the face of much hatred and disruption, almost anarchy, displayed by those who were elected to lead, we can remember that there is much value in maintaining our lives, making art, and feeling joy. These are ancient weapons against destruction and hatred, and have allowed many peoples to survive, and even thrive, in the face of evil. We can also remember that our ancestors, no matter where we hail from, experienced oppression and violence, and stand by us as we live our lives now.
Without joy, community, and a sense of history maintaining resistance can create feelings of futility. On this complex day we can take refuge in the knowledge that we are more alike than different, that attempts to separate us are based in illusion, and that we are free to feel joy. When we remember that facing uncertainty and tyranny is as old as our species, we can recognize our shared values and aspirations, and liking hands, we can build momentum for change.