While I have never mastered all of the lyrics from REM’s song, The End Of The World As We Know It, that phrase was playing over and over in my mind this morning as I reflected on the events of yesterday. The peaceful transfer of power carried out yesterday in the swearing-in of our 46th President, Joe Biden, was the end of the world as we know it.
And I feel fine.
But I am also reminded that every day carries the designation of being the end of the world as we know it. Every day is filled with potential to be a day that we look back on as the turning point. Every day carries the promise of being the moment that things changed, a breakthrough occurred, and our lives looked different from that day on. How great is that?
When I was finishing my finance degree at Texas A&M, I had a few really tough professors. The kind of professors that had name recognition and elicited a “oh man, good luck!” from other students when you told them who you had for FINC 428. They were tough but always in their own unique way. But when I look back on those classes, I can tell you exactly which friends I made over the course of that semester. We rallied together in study groups and helped each other out with group projects and swapped notes if we had to miss a class. Tougher professors created a shared adversary that drew us together into a unified community in a way that nicer professors and the easier course didn’t,
There are a lot of things to say about the past four years. And they’ll all be said for a long time to come. But, there was one thing that I watched with great interest and that was the way that different groups came together towards a common challenge that hadn’t come together in the previous less difficult administrations before. There causes they came together to promote, to defend, and to fix were not unique or new to the world, they were exposed. And as they as in Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to solving a problem is an acceptance that you have a problem. There are a lot of things that went very wrong the past four years, but admitting that we have a problem, that we have a lot of problems, as a country is a step in the right direction that the negative forces prompted.
So today, a day that a lot of people are waking up feeling better about things, I am concerned that we will have a short term memory. I pray that the challenges that were surfaced and starred us straight in the eye in recent years would be challenges we would continue to face head-on and not let slip back into obscurity but our rallied troops of people believing in a better future for all Americans would continue the work with as much fight and as much passion as they’ve had when there was a more clear threat at the highest level.
Today is the end of the world as we know it, and tomorrow will be as well, but coming together with so many friends and family to continue the fight for justice and equity for all, one day at a time, I have to say, I feel fine.