Hope for the Future
Is it just me, or is this world becoming a scary place? Every day ensures a new, different atrocity no one saw coming. First, the fear. A virus entering our field of reality, making us all question our mortality. Some ran with the panic, seeing it only in terms of life and death. Others, like myself, were confused: one day seeing the world with the hope of a child, while the next succumbing to the doom and gloom of the ‘what if’.
After the fear stage subsided, next came blame. I’ve never been a political cheerleader. For the most part, I have lived my life in the shadows when it comes to government. I may not always agree with our leaders, but I trust them. I do not think America would and/or could ever fall in the hands of a dictator. Yes, I see countless flaws in both sides. All I know is fear always leads to blame. And with blame, there is usually a measure of hate and anger that rises.
Not only were we fighting the dread of what the virus could do to our county, but now we stepped into the realm of basic human rights. Our need for safety for our family, our friends, ourselves was the most crucial goal of many. But just as many, or more, realized that there would be a future once all was said and done, and we would not want to find out what happened if that future was devoid of a financial backbone.
This phase should have been the worst of it. I embraced the optimism of the states opening back up. It was exciting to be part of the few that took the first step back into reality. Businesses opened their doors. People returned to jobs. The seasons fell back into place, and with the “unofficial” start of summer, I looked forward to the future.
But just days later, a horrible act of humanity breeched my positivity. I was horrified, scared, and looking for justice to be served when really, no amount of explanation could rectify the situation. Then, I, too, sat back and watched as all people took sides. Wrath and rage ignited in many. And I’ll admit, I cowered in the protective shield of our small community.
Because until this moment, I underestimated the strength and unity of the Montanan spirit. Our resilience to see the toxicity of what is happening just beyond our borders and not be influenced to act rashly is a feat in and of itself. With the economic uncertainty, our small-town businesses are standing strong, supporting one another while leaning on each other for moral support. And when you break it down even further, the people are beacons of a future that will not be victimized by events no one could have predicted. However, we won’t sit back idly and watch all our hard work go up in flames. We will rise together. We will conquer the demons—the uncertainty, the fear and anger and sadness, the helplessness—by doing what we, as Montanans, have always done best. We will help our neighbor. We will cry with those who are in pain. We will work to build a brighter tomorrow. But above all else, we will never give up. Young or old. Black or white. Republican or Democrat. We all need each other. We cannot build this future with only our two hands. There is something for everyone to contribute. And with this message, we are one.