We the People (One Singular Sensation)
One singular sensation, one ringy-dingy, one moment in time, one more for the road, and one small, very small shrieker in Who-ville by the name of Jo-Jo bouncing a Yo-Yo.
Growing up my favorite book was Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss. I loved Horton. Horton was a gentle elephant who one day while bathing in a pond in the Jungle of Nool, heard a small noise which turned out to be the Whos calling for help. Horton, the hero of the story, was determined to save the small planet Who. The other animals in the jungle didn’t believe Horton and refused to help him until the smallest of the Whos named Jo-Jo, whose voice was the last to shriek, raised the volume just loud enough for them to hear. They then vowed to help Horton protect Who-ville.
What is the point of this? The point is never to forget that one person, one voice can make a difference. To think that we are helpless unless we’re backed by many is the very mindset that the opposition is counting on. Don’t listen to those negative voices that tell you that you can’t make a difference. Listen to the voice within you that tells you, you can.
In March of last year, our lives were turned upside down. We were told in a couple of weeks all would be fine, that the virus would “just disappear.” That turned into 52 weeks and counting. How could this happen? Had we not advanced in medical science since 1918? Surely somebody had the power to move mountains to fix this. We are the United States of America. We are the most powerful nation in the world. And yet, we were hit with a virus that sent this country into chaos.
Our country’s leadership was an embarrassment, a political Lord of the Flies. Not only did we have a deadly virus running rampant, but we also saw a year of overwhelming destruction to our democracy. Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of a disease was made into a political issue. We saw sickness and death in numbers never seen before. There were voices of anger, riots, murder, homelessness surging, violent racist assaults, false accusations, loss of jobs, a greater number of families falling into poverty. And yet we, the people, came together to feed those in need. We, the people, took it upon ourselves to do what our government refused to do.
And, as we staggered into this pandemic of medical, mental, and emotional confusion, one person after another took it upon themselves to rise up. To stand with determination and grit adapting to a new normal. We, the people, joined together and shouted that this would not take us down. We, the people, like the Phoenix, will rise and overcome.
John Krasinski, one actor took it upon himself to broadcast, SGN (Some Good News). One family built their own Pirates of the Caribbean in their home, one standing ovation became one standing ovation every night at 7 pm in New York City giving thanks to one nurse, one doctor, one team, that saved the life of one person that multiplied into thousands. One person that said, “No! We are not going to be defeated.”
In November we, the people, said, enough! This will stop. It stopped with the casting of the greatest power we, the people have, the vote. Our vote ended a presidency that sought to destroy our democracy and that lied about the deadliness of Covid-19. We, the people, conquered that by each of us turning out to vote.
January 20th brought about a new sense of relief. We are far from ending the pandemic. However, I felt for the first time in a very long time a feeling of renewed optimism.
As I watched with joy and pride, a new President and Vice-President were sworn into office.
During the inaugural ceremony without any fanfare, one singular sensation stepped forward. One voice stood out. And from that one voice, words that brought us to our feet with a thunderous ovation.
One very young woman, one voice, with a very strong message — Amanda Gorman.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
If only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
The Hill We Climb challenges us to be better, be greater, be stronger, take the responsibility of our privilege, and do something with it. I knew then that we, the people, will come out of this because we are strong and we are invincible. Every one of us can do something positive to enact change.
As sung in “A Chorus Line” — One singular sensation, every little step “we, the people” take can and will make a difference.
You have the power within to make a change. Everything starts with one. And that one is you.
One and Proud
Heidi Hirsch lives in the Los Angeles area. She is the Executive Producer for Invitation To Tomorrow Today a newly launched consulting firm. When she is not working towards bringing the future to the present, her domestic responsibilities include attending to the demanding animals which at last count were, Koi and two very noisy birds, Sweet Pea and Charlie Parker.