Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, gave an eloquent and passionate speech to his colleagues in June of this year. You can watch it on YouTube here.
During his speech, he said that the American people are angry and proceeded to describe why he thought so. I don't know about "the American people" being angry. That is a lot of people. I do know that I, personally, am angry. I am very angry.
I am angry that in a land of plenty, people are hungry.
I'm angry that farmers are separated from their land because huge agribusiness overwhelms them.
I'm angry about the blight in our major cities.
I am angry that violence is prominent in our communities, and that love is too often dismissed as ineffectual.
I am angry that corruption, violence and greed are more powerful than love, kindness and generosity.
I am angry that our devoted teachers, firefighters, and police officers are painted by the media to be criminals more often than heroes.
I am angry that there are teachers, firefighters and police officers who actually are criminals.
I am angry that laws are passed protecting the wealthy from fair taxation, so the burden then falls to others who can barely keep a home, a car, food on the table and children in school.
I am angry that too many of our college students who worked so hard to get into college cannot repay school loans because they cannot find work after graduation.
I am angry that we are told the American dream gives all citizens the opportunity to advance from having nothing more than a dream to having a prosperous, safe and sustainable life. I am angry that runaway inflation is crushing that dream.
I am angry that too many of our military sons and daughters are sent off to wars that support the richest among us, and that when our soldiers return, they, too, struggle to create a life based on the freedom they so courageously fought for.
I am angry that my vote as an American citizen has become impotent, and that elections seem to be a formality rather than the true determination of who our leaders will be -- elected by the people and for the people.
I'm angry that the chronic ill health of our citizens is an obstacle to simple happiness and enjoyment of life. Chronic ill health seems to be a moneymaker for a very few.
I am angry that people die with unfulfilled dreams, not for lack of trying, but from lack of support from the American dream.
I am angry that our nation's air, water, soil, and hearts are polluted to the point of not being able to sustain health and vitality.
I am angry that people die of preventable diseases.
I am angry the morals of kindness, compassion, generosity, community, and respect for children and elders are annihilated by immorality.
I am angry when I feel like a frog in a pot of water being brought slowly to a boil because too many people refuse to listen with their hearts to what the land, water, air and the rest of creation is crying out to us.
I am angry when my disagreement with the status quo makes me an enemy rather than a responsible citizen devoted to the rights penned for us in our Constitution many years ago.
I am angry that my reputation as an American is tainted in the larger global community because of the behavior of corporations and individuals who misrepresent me.
I am angry that it takes a catastrophic collapse of systems before change is considered necessary.
I am angry because I am finding it more and more challenging to believe in the goodness of life because I see destructive forces that numb us out and take away our authority to create peace on Earth.
I am angry that personal growth is not perceived as a responsibility as we confront the fear that stops us from coming up creative solutions to world problems.
I am angry because I don't know what to do about my anger.
You see, I need my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to dare to dream about the possibility of a safe and happy future.
I need them to believe in their dreams.
I need to breathe clean air, drink pure water and eat nutritious food.
I need to leave this world a better place than when I arrived.
I need to know that my vote counts.
I need to be free to trust my elected officials.
I need to feel gratitude rather than fear.
I need to feel safe, open, and confident that all people's hard work will make a positive contribution and a difference in the world.
I need to believe in the goodness of life.
I need to know that love will prevail on Earth.
What, then, is my next step? I will feel the anger and be fearless anyway.
Love will prevail on Earth.
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For more by Martha Pasternack, click here.
For more on becoming fearless, click here.