Today, at the same time as the Presidential Inauguration, I began my first time volunteering as a driver for Meals on Wheels. On this day, I felt it was important to use my time and energy toward helping others rather than tearing people and ideas apart, no matter how much I vehemently disagree with their beliefs or politics.
I respect the peaceful transfer of power in this country but to me, transfer of power also means transfer of energy. Of course our country is literally transferring power from one human being to another, but we are also transferring our energy towards one ideology or another, towards one mindset or another.
Everything in our Universe is made of energy, so it was no surprise to me that today, I awoke feeling energetically low and drained. As I started my route with my car filled with hot meals for those in need, I began to feel hopeful that by helping someone else, by taking time to really see one another, we can raise our collective energy toward good rather than disruption, anger, and uncertainty.
On my nine deliveries this morning, I met seven elderly individuals living in various stages of abject poverty and loneliness. I tried my best to take time to talk to each of them as I delivered their meals. I know enough about Meals on Wheels to know for some of these people, the only human interaction they have is with those who deliver food for them each day. During more than one visit, I felt their aching emptiness and sadness pull at me yet I refused to be blinded by this and pushed myself to see each person and try my best to connect with them, letting them know I saw them.
Every single elderly person I visited watched the Inauguration. One woman named Sophie invited me inside her home. She said that the world moved so fast now and as she watched the Inauguration, she said a prayer that this President didn't screw up the country. She then pointed out that she had said the same prayer for every single other President during her lifetime, and so far, the country had survived each and every other President before.
Growing up, I often heard my parents use the phrase, "But for the grace of God go I." Today, I was re-introduced to it. We are so ridiculously blessed to have warmth, comfort, friendship, love, laughter, good food, and joy in our lives. We sleep in comfortable beds in warm houses and eat what food when we want to eat it. We cannot lose sight of those blessings and we cannot lose sight of those people who do not, each day, walk in the light of those very same blessings.
As I sat in my comfortable home writing this, I watched protesters on the Inaugural parade route hit with pepper spray as they threw rocks at law enforcement officers. I understand and respect our right in this nation to protest, but we have to ask ourselves what ultimate purpose it serves. If a rock thrown by a protester injures a law enforcement officer trying to make a life for his family, how is that helping? How are we going to solve the real problems of this country and this world if we cannot come together?
Tomorrow I will participate in a peaceful gathering to raise my voice and my word towards making real positive change in this country and to ensure that the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, of women, are not snuffed out in this administration, or any other.
After all, it's about connecting, not disconnecting at times like these. So make an effort to connect and transfer your energy toward good.