Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What is essential?

Tonight is the recall election.  My heart is pounding and I've turned a movie on to get my mind off it.  NBC has already projected Walker as the winner.  And the 'in your face' mentality on Facebook starts.

I see all these back and forth conversation and there's so much meanness.  So much divisiveness.  This election, whatever the results are, is a near 50/50 race.  That means that ONE HALF of us want one thing and ONE HALF want something else.  And what we really need is something new entirely. 

I feel sick because to me Walker winning means that my children and the children in this state have less for their education.  It means poor people with disabilities have less medical care, less opportunity to go out and be in their communities.  It means teachers working harder and longer for less. It means someone running our state who believes my friends and family who are gay should not be able to visit their partners should they be hospitalized.  And for people who support Walker...if he should lose, they would have their own list of things that the loss would mean to them, that perhaps would feel just as devastating.

We are so divided and so angry and the conversation back and forth is tense and fraught with insult.  There needs to be a way for us to come to some conclusions without these back and forth votes that leave half the population feeling like something we value is in danger.  Maybe its a revolution that we need.  I wish I knew what it would look like.

But tonight, I am trying not to watch the results come in ever so slowly.  Coen chose "The Little Prince" as his bedtime story.  Tonight we lay side by side in his bed and I read:

"Goodbye," said the fox.  "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret:  It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated so that he would be sure to remember.

I put the book down and looked at Coen who was looking at me.  
"What is essential is invisible to the eye."  Coen said.
"What do you think that means?" I asked him.
"Why does the little prince want to remember it?" Coen countered.
"Well," I said, "What are things that are very important, but we can't see them?"
Coen looked up at the ceiling.  "Air." he said.
"Yes." I smiled
Coen went on. "Friendship?"
And then he dropped his voice to a whisper.  "Love."
I kissed his sweet, warm face.  

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Goodnight friends.  Whatever happens in this vote...I am still going to work hard at being kind and open and compassionate and know that the world is due for a change.


  1. Well said Alie! Today is a sad day for many, but Coen is right in his sweet innocent way of pointing out that all we need is the right to breathe clean air, love who we want to love and be kind to our neighbors despite our differences.

  2. Thanks for writing this... thanks for sharing it... It has come at a perfect time! :)

    I too constantly think of what it would take for change to happen. I have thought about it so much and I have continually come back to one question: what makes us human beings? Or even better said: What is essentially human that is invisible to the eye?

    Perhaps we should stick to that.

  3. Very true, thank you.