While on a routine jog yesterday, a young, rather light-footed, Caucasian male swept right passed me. For the record, I was once pretty fast, too. As he breezed by, he gave a seemingly genuine chuckle and gently whispered, “Is it November, yet?”
I laughed and responded faintly, “I wish.”
Nothing else was said, but an understanding was established. It was as if we shared what seems to have become the sentiment of many.
He definitely wasn’t physically exhausted, as this guy was clearly in great shape. He was tired of the fall out. He was tired of the meanness. The malice. The negativity.
Constant drama ages. Our days begin to feel like months; our months become years; and our years, decades.
Somewhere along the way, we seem to have have lost our way. We seem to have allowed our political differences to somehow alter the moral compass. What is true has somehow been lost in the shuffle.
Literally speaking, if you are like me, you have to watch both CNN and Fox News in search of the truth that is sometimes found broken into pieces somewhere hidden in the middle. And this simply should not be.
We must find our way back. Think back to Aug. 29, 2005. Katrina taught us that despite socioeconomic status, we have more in common than not.
I’ll never forget the moment I stood in line for ice at Winn Dixie in Ponchatoula. I witnessed friendly conversations taking place between the wealthy and the poor. They laughed and talked as if they had been knowing each other for years. Keep in mind that we all stood in the same line seeking ice, but we enjoyed each other’s company.
In those moments, we somehow understood that all was going to be OK; that things would work out fine. In the midst of a crisis, we were somehow able to remember who we were, as well as, whose we were.
Sept. 11, 2001, was no different in that respect. Words such as Democrat, Republican, and Independent seemed to all vanish during those times. We united. Our differences seemed so small. Observing tiny American flags appear in yards in every part of town gave a sense of comfort in knowing that we were all in this together, and that all would eventually be well.
History tells us that since the very birth of this nation, crisis have come and gone; and in each, moments existed that gave us the confidence that we would surely overcome. We would heal. And here we are.
This November, we all will face a personal challenge. Whatever the outcome of the election, my hope is that people reflect on the thought that we have more in common than not. And that those things we do have in common are, in fact, the most important things.
Remember that life is but a vapor, and the time we are here together is so precious.
My hope is that we identify and take advantage of those moments meant to remind us of who we are and of what matters most; and that notions such as compassion, civility, and personal accountability will muster the courage to rule hearts.
To the young man who ran past: Thank you for, one, not making me feel too old out there. And, thank you for having the faith in all of us to trust that better days will come in November.
So, hurry up, “Sweet November,” and tell us the story.
Terran Perry, educator, lives in Tangipahoa Parish.