Weekend with Bernies

I think we’ve all needed to let off steam. Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for humbly and unintentionally providing the means of some much needed humor. I heard from a friend who said even her friend in Denmark is posting Bernie memes. It feels like the sigh of a grateful nation/world.

It’s all in good fun, and it sounds like Bernie is being a great sport. The woman who made his mittens has completely sold out, and his campaign is making sweatshirts and donating 100% of the profits to Vermont charities, including Meals on Wheels. How cool is that?

After such a terrible 4 years and a fraught election season, it’s been a relief to happen upon one after another funny Bernie memes in my Twitter feed. It feels great to laugh again. Bernie is still a fine person, and his people are harnessing the momentum and using it for good. I’ve enjoyed this weekend with Bernies.

Good News Needed

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s exhausted with this election cycle. It seems to have brought all of the baseness of human nature to the surface, and I, for one, am sinking into a mire of depression. We have just witnessed the Brexit vote and all of the political fallout and as we watch the UK fall apart, we might be wondering what will become of us as we deal with our own two less than stellar choices of leader.

I’m in need of cute puppy videos. Laughing babies. Anything to steer me away from this feeling that we are at the tipping point with awful things to come.

But laughing babies and puppies, cute as they are, are just a momentary escape. The world will still be spiraling downward out there. What is within my power to change before we reach that tipping point?

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, I wondered what the world would be like if instead of fighting over gun rights yet again, instead of hurling insults and stockpiling weapons, we committed ourselves to acts of kindness in remembrance. Would that get any press?

I’ve also heard a lot on the news about Christian intolerance and Tea Party politics, but I have a high school friend who, with her husband, is heavily involved in Christian ministry to urban youth in Southside Chicago. In a world where black lives matter, they are two very white people who take the whole love your God/love your neighbor mandate seriously and are reaching out to a community in need.

We still need a colorblind society. A just society. A society where nobody gets a slap on the wrist after raping a woman. A society where words are measured before they are thrown out like punches to the gut. A civil society. A society that seeks understanding and inclusion over divisiveness and hate.

We hear over and over about what’s going wrong in our world, and there’s so much going wrong, but I, for one, am in desperate need of hearing about what’s going right. Where has change happened and been successful?

I think that was a lot of the appeal of Bernie. In a world that seems to be going into the sewer, he made us see the other end of the spectrum of what we could be. I joked with my 19-year-old Bernie supporter about the marijuana/free college appeal of the old senator. He steered me toward a post about equality, and I knew in that moment I had raised him right. Maybe the youth are not looking for entitlements. Maybe they are looking for equity and fairness. Maybe, just maybe, they will be the ones to make this a better world – if we just let them.