Thoughts on a photograph

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (2011)

These last few months have brought up some very dark perspectives for the future for me.  Even if you haven’t really being paying attention it is easy to understand why.  What is not easy to understand is from where all the hate is coming.  When I stumble upon photographs like this one, I remember the cautious optimism that existed not so long ago.  The beauty of the image and what it represents warms my heart, but to know what is possible yet (hopefully temporarily) beyond our reach inevitably cools the warmth.

Sometimes I wish I could un-know how sick my culture has become.  When I didn’t know how many felt hate over this photograph my world made more sense.  My days, though always full of challenges, made some sense.  Now I know, and the application of the word senseless has never in my lifetime been more appropriate for the times.  The current cultural circus that is playing out is unnecessary and there is not a single player in it that doesn’t know that.  No one anywhere in the world will win from the way we are doing this, but, at least for now, it seems the desire to burn it down is bigger than the desire to build it up.  I only hope when the fire subsides there are still enough materials left for the survivors to start again.  The grand democratic experiment is still worth the efforts.  Humanity is worth it, even if we aren’t showing it right now.