The Possibility of Better Days
Last week’s insurrection at the Capitol was the culmination of a period of anger, despair, and fear for so many Americans. The terror we felt as we sat glued to the images of violence and destruction were matched only by the sinking feeling in our hearts that we feared all along things might come to this.
Hopes for a better year than last seemed dashed so soon.
But the year is still young.
How can we still pursue the infinite possibilities that come from human kindness and community after seeing such hatred and violence on display?
How do we respond to our painful divisions that seem to be growing wider?
How do we take lessons away from the past four years and work towards a better America?
Because we must. It is time to heal. To bridge divides. To look for our shared humanity even after our darkest days. Political leaders from the top to the bottom of government have failed us. Deceit has reigned free. But I believe in the basic human goodness that exists– within our neighbors, our family members, and our co-workers — even when we don’t see eye to eye.
All across North Carolina, there are people across the political spectrum who share a desire for a better United States of America, and the willingness to work toward who we can be as a country.
On the cusp of a new presidency, we have the opportunity to turn away from division and try to believe in the possibilities of what America can be if we do the work to bring people together.
We do that best by working together on shared challenges. That is always how America has worked through our internal divides.
The past weeks have seen the highest number of COVID-19 cases we have faced in the pandemic. Hospitals are nearing capacity. The number of families missing a loved one continues, painfully, to grow. Defeating the virus must be our first shared task.
When the pandemic is over, we will still have so many mighty tasks ahead of us. Tasks we can tackle together. We must restore, and also rethink, an economy that for too long has failed too many of us. We must march boldly forward to address the climate crisis that is already destroying our planet, and thrusting our most vulnerable into deeper and deeper poverty. We must recognize and address systemic racism that destroys lives and threatens futures.
We cannot make progress on issues that matter to people across North Carolina, without a broad coalition. It is on all of us to listen, to find common ground, to bridge divides.
The goal is not impossible. In the midst of incredible darkness there are glimmers of hope to celebrate. Throughout the chaos and uncertainty of the past few months, ultimately our institutions prevailed and democracy held. Within communities, people are taking care of one another through the most significant crisis any of us have ever known. I truly believe there are more people committed to working together than those who would tear us apart.
This year is still young and full of possibility for better days. My mind is already buzzing with ideas on progress we can make during this year’s legislative session — on economic recovery, education gaps, rural broadband, and so much more.
If we are our best selves, together we can make this state and our country the best that it can be. Let’s make that our shared work this year. I’m ready to go. Let’s jump into 2021 together.
Graig Meyer is the State Representative for House District 50, covering portions of Orange and Caswell Counties. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the News of Orange and Caswell Messenger.