The 8th Day

It is the eighth day.

God made the world in six and rested on the seventh.

So it has taken Donald Trump longer to say two little words – I’m sorry – than it did for God to create the universe.

Not that I expected Trump to do so. It would have just been a nice break from his usual egocentric behavior.

Not that we aren’t all egocentric to a degree. It is human to see the world through the lens of our own feelings, experiences and reactions to things.

It is when we refuse to consider that someone else’s reaction is equally valid from their point of view, when we say our ego matters more than their pain, when we have to always be “right” that it all goes astray.

We can be “right” in our own minds but still have the humility to consider we are wrong in someone else’s.  We can be genuinely sorry we unintentionally caused someone’s hurt to be greater than it needs to be.

So why can’t Donald Trump? Just once? For the sake of someone other than himself?

Twenty-seven psychiatric professionals have written a book on why that is an impossibility.  I got half-way through the book and got so demoralized I had to put it down.

I have never been one to walk through life feeling existentially doomed – at least not for long.

Like many who voted for Trump, I look out to see a country I no longer recognize.  It’s just I see it from a different point of view and I voted for someone else.

Was it not so long ago the world was a diverse, vibrant place filled with new possibilities for people who were once marginalized by our society? Had women, people of color and others not become a part of society’s fabric in new and interesting patterns?

How quickly the tide seems to have rushed back in, destroying all those sand castles built in hope on the shores of our collective life.

An old song comes to mind.  “Is that all there is? Is that all there is?  If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing, let’s break out the booze, and have, a ball, if that’s all..”

I don’t want this to be “all there is” for myself, my family or those who will come after.  I don’t want to see disabled children pushed to the edges of life again, for women to not have autonomy over their bodies, for the oceans to rise and Greenland to disintegrate.

An “extinction event” from a nuclear warhead is not how I have imagined my end.  I want to be old, like Rose in the movie “Titanic,” surrounded by photos showing I lived a full and adventurous life.

I want to pass quietly away in the night and awaken to meet my Maker and be among His angels and saints, saved by overflowing mercy and grace.

But I am not sure I can have that end.  All because Donald Trump cannot say the words “I’m sorry.” And because it is now after midnight and the eighth day has come and gone.

 

** Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Is That All There Is lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

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