Maybe it was the altercation in Montana ... maybe it's simply the obvious rise in boorishness ... .
... but -- despite the fact that I'm living in days of unanticipated personal success and triumphs -- there is the undeniable pall of depression creeping up to blunt the good feelings far too soon. Is this payment for last week's Brigadoon moment? If so, it was worth every pang of insecurity and shared national embarrassment experienced while watching the national and international news of the past several hours.
How must all this be effecting those too young to have the long range of experience to have seen these periods of chaos that, at least for my generation, are understood as cyclical? That they've been occurring since at least 1776, and that the nation is subject to these political and social periods of upheaval from time to time. Do they understand that it is in these periods of chaos and confusion that our democracy is being re-defined, adjusted, the "buttons" and systems re-set as we go forward onto the next platform upon which we will continue the great experiment that is America? And that it is in these tumultuous times that we must put our shoulders to the wheel and work hard to recreate the future? That this is what is required "... in order to form that more perfect Union". That these are the days that provide opportunity to together shape change, change that is irresistible and constant?
Can they possibly know that each generation has to re-create democracy in its time or it will die? That it matters not whether it is voter apathy or voter suppression that is the cause, but that those slave-owning imperfect white men who founded our country created the pliant and resilient foundation upon which this participatory form of governance is based -- but that it must be maintained and nurtured by a succession of generations of imperfect human beings as we stumble on into whatever comes next? And that we have become that multiracial multicultural nation of people because it is precisely those founding documents and practices that created us in the first place? We were produced by the idealism embedded in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights by our better Angels.
... and, just maybe it is this newly emerging generation who are those better Angels.
At least that's who they appear to be to me in my less fearful moments ... .
So maybe I'll just ignore the boors and uncivil and try to remember how the world looked through the confetti of Commencement.