|Photo by NASA Apollo Astronauts 12/7/72|
I was sitting staring at my TV with my mind cluttered with dark thoughts when up on the screen popped a view of the Earth from the Space Station. There before my eyes was a soft, white swirl of downy clouds topping planet Earth.
My mind stopped. My eyes relaxed. I actually smiled down at all of us who live here. Birds, otters, whales, dogs, cats, horses, elk, deer, bears, fish and yes, even, insects all eat and sleep here. And yes, most of us will die here. Many of us much too soon.
The fear and pain and horror is not to be denied. Many sad realities of now need changing and the weight is hard for all of us. Even more so for the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers who have lost their lives and loved ones. So many wrongs need to be righted in this topsy-turvy time.
But it’s way too easy to get caught up in the hate and fear and violence. And doing so helps no one. And stops nothing. At this low point in our life in this country and on this planet, I found some comfort in these beautiful and wise words from Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama on going high.
“I absolutely still believe that we’ve got to go high-always and without exception. It’s the only way we can keep our dignity. Because if we lose our dignity, what do we have left?”
“When someone’s trying to pull you down into the mud, it takes a lot less effort to give in and join them in the muck than to keep yourself upright, standing tall. If you allow yourself to play on their terms, they win. It’s what they want you to do. You can’t give them the satisfaction.”
“Now, going high doesn’t mean giving up or ignoring reality. It doesn’t mean you shoe away from the fight or weaken your principles. It means you lead with your whole heart and your whole soul -your whole value system - and not just whatever happens to be your stance on a given issue. Going high isn’t just about the fight you want to win, but it’s also about the person you want to be -the kind of country you want to have.”
“Barack and I have always tried to do this: When the haters come our way, we don’t let them distract us from our purpose. We brush them off when we can, and we deal with them when we need to. But we never lose sight of our goal. We never stop working. And we never stop trying to set a good example for the next generation - not just for our two daughters but for everyone’s kids. Do we want the next generation to be angry? Do we want them to be spiteful and petty? Or do we want them to live by the values that our parents taught us - values like honesty and generosity and respect?”
“I think the answer is easy enough. And it’s an answer that always applies, not just when it’s easy.”