Whoa. What just happened? Does the end of 2008 at all resemble what we thought we knew twelve months ago?
In 2008, it seems that the world redefined itself. As the stock market fell, heroes like Michael Phelps and Dara Torres inspired us and new players like Sarah Palin and Rachel Maddox emerged on the scenes. And while headlines told us about the toxicity in our financial system, our food supply and our politicians, comedians kept us laughing when we otherwise might have cried.
Somehow we survived: the downturns, the corporate scandals and the crises. And we survived with our hope, faith and dreams still intact. Because that is who we are.
We are mothers, fathers, creators and nurturers. We are teachers, lawyers, accountants and writers. And the future rests in our resiliently remarkable hands. We are soundly educated, compassionately connected and have been given the tools to affect the change required to restore the world to one worthy of our children's inheritance.
The opportunity is tremendous. The adventure is ours for the taking, but we must not be daunted by the enormity of the task at hand. Rather, we should collectively engage our passions and our minds and collaborate to develop a blueprint for change.
If we each take action, together we can begin to restore the integrity that is now lacking in our system, our food supply, our banks and our government. And through these small acts, we can create a ripple of hope whose force is more powerful than any one of us could achieve individually.
What steps can we take? Cutting back on a digital cable package in order to pay down debt? Or cutting back on meat in order to buy more fruits and veggies? Reducing the amount of artificial colors and chemicals that have snuck into your child's diet? Or switching out just one conventional lightbulb for a compact fluorescent lightbulb since they last ten times longer?
As we stand together, can you imagine the collective strength of what we could achieve if we each took just one step forward?
In the borrowed words of poet June Jordan, "We are the ones we have been waiting for."
And as we look into the eyes of our children, we are the ones that they have been waiting for, too.
This article is written as a tribute to the Travolta family, in memory of their son, Jett.