|I can’t find the original citation for this photo, but if anyone else knows it, let me know so I can give credit where it is due.
The President of the United States travels to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service and all the news outlets can talk about is his (shocking) handshake with Raoul Castro.
God forbid we entertain the notion that everyone deserves respect.
God forbid we ever consider that each person contains both light and dark.
God forbid we we treat everyone who comes across our path with humanity and kindness.
I hope that President Obama never hesitated or analyzed whether he ought to shake Castro’s hand. I sincerely hope that on that special day he was filled with humility before the legacy that Mandela created and compelled by a sense of hope and wonder for all that this man did throughout his lifetime. I hope that he was buoyed by possibility and optimistic for change and carried forward by the momentum of love for humanity.
I wish the politicians and news media would shut up.
In other news, I am very much feeling the weight of the upcoming anniversary of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I am sitting in the very room I was in when I first heard of it and my throat is tight with tears, my sinuses prickling with remembrance of the horror and sadness I felt, the images of my girls that hung firmly in my mind as I rocked back and forth on the floor with the dog, grieving for the parents and children and loved ones who lost people on that day.
May we all find the courage to shake the hands of those with whom we disagree.
May we all see the humanity in everyone.
May we all create peace in ways big and small every day.