Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beyond FANFARE: The Long Road Ahead...and the Need for a Little Tenderness

It’s tempting to celebrate, to sing “Happy Days are Here Again” after waking to the news that voters had swept so many non-Republican leaders into offices across the country. Here in traditionally Republican Colorado, despite lines that really did run out the door and down the street and force people to wait two hours (two hours!) to vote, the results were exciting. But there’s so much to be done that we really have no time to celebrate. Other headlines this morning served a more sober wake-up call: 60 people “killed or found dead” in Iraq, for example. Voters have sent a message to Washington that they’re tired of the tough guy approach that’s led to so much suffering and grief in our world, that they want leaders who lead with honesty, integrity, and empathy for the well-being of all people.

Over at Empathy (, Matthew says his blog is designed to “propel compassion and awareness,” and he does that with insightful posts, soothing photos, and lists of terrific resources for people I like to call “socially conscious.” Check out his current post on the Free Hugs campaign, then watch the video with your volume turned UP. This is what we want for America; the ability to reach out to the international community with openness and even a little vulnerability, to remind everyone that we stand for what’s right and good in this world, that we’re here to help.

It doesn’t take much to make a difference; hopefully our newly elected or re-elected governors, senators, and representatives—from all parties—will take to heart the call for a new way of leading this country. Hopefully they’ll help us achieve an era in which the U.S. is viewed as a diplomatic powerhouse with a huge heart rather than a narrow-minded bully. Hopefully they’ll come to realize it’s okay to be a little vulnerable in order to reach across difficult divides in the hope that real, lasting peace might someday be achieved.

If they don’t, they’ll have to face more disgruntled Americans like the future voter pictured above; voters who won’t hesitate to put their hands on their hips, to stand in line for hours, to look into a camera and imply (maybe even with a little attitude), that they elected their leaders for a reason…and they expect those leaders to act accordingly. So, for her sake and the sake of so many others, let’s get to work.


Blogger Matt said...

I agree, there is LOTs of work to do now, and hoping things change for the better soon in IRAQ and around the world. Thank you for posting about my blog, I really appreciate it. :)

5:22 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

You're welcome, Matt!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous susie said...

3 Cheers for the Democrats!!! Dallas County, TX (the heart of TX) has been taken back by the force of the people's voice. It's amazing what can be done when the people come together to remind D.C. that they are there to represent the people. And when they forget that, the people are more then capable of sending the appropriate message. Thanks for the post.

8:33 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

Thanks for your post. I find no particular cause to celebrate the recent election, although the results are indeed the ones I was hoping for, and voted for. I'll celebrate when the troops come home.

Sadly, no nation with power has ever learned anything about the evils of being an occupying force.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Great to hear good news coming out of Texas, Susie!

Gerry, these are indeed sad times, though it does help to see glimmers of hope for better times to come. I don't think anyone went into this anticipating the length of our occupation. I'm also distressed by the amount of money that's disappeared along the way due to layers of corruption among Iraqi agencies. It'll take a miracle to get it all straightened out, I'm afraid, and another miracle to get all our troops home. K.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Rhea said...

You're right. The 'tough guy' approach is over.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rhea. And I certainly hope you're right. K.

1:06 PM  

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