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#WQWWC #8 Change Means Strength

Autumn Jade from A Day in the Brine invites us to respond to quotes about change in today’s #Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge #8 this week. To join the challenge, pick a quote related to the theme change and write a response to the quote in any form you want, including photography.

Thanks to Autty, today I get to join in #WQWWC as a participant rather than a host. I have chosen to respond with an opinion piece, which is out of my comfort zone, but here goes anyway.

Since today is Inauguration Day in the United States, ironically I’m going to start with a quote from Prince Philip of England.

Change does not change tradition. It strengthens it. Change is a challenge and an opportunity, not a threat.

Prince Philip of England

The Tradition

“So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.” 

Joe Biden

Today is a day of unprecedented transition of power in the United States government, Inauguration Day. Breaking with tradition of over 150 years years, former President Trump left without attending the Inauguration of his successor. The ceremony went well without him.

President Biden talked about the change and healing he wants to bring to the country. So I’ve picked out some of my favorite change quotes from his address. Chris Wallace said it was the “best inaugural speech he had heard in his lifetime.”

The Change

“As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.”

Joe Biden

For many Americans, this Inauguration Day was a day of relief, while for others it marked the dismal loss of party power. One of the strengths of the United States is that politics are never forever the same. Every four years we have the opportunity to choose new leaders. Every eight years we must choose a new head of state even if the leader was beloved by everyone.

In the wake of the world pandemic, the Biden administration and their spouses wear masks, signaling one of the many challenges facing his first term of office. Hopefully, the Pandemic will be well on its way out with the infusion of the vaccines. Nonetheless, President Biden’s first policy change “was to impose a mask mandate on federal property, a break in approach to dealing with the pandemic from Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the virus.” CNN

I didn’t appreciate Former President Trump’s flippant attitude about the Pandemic. I cringed while watching his rallies on the media when people stood shoulder to shoulder without masks, flaunting their freedom to risk their health. In cities where he held rallies their COVID statistics rose appreciably in the weeks following large gatherings.

On the other hand, we just moved from one of the counties in California, the state with the most rigid restrictions that was most highly affected by the pandemic. Even without research, it is clear that masks, lockdowns, and social distancing may have slowed but obviously did not eliminate the spread of the corona virus in California.

Living with so many mandates was oppressive. No indoor church, no indoor restaurants, no gatherings over 6 people, and better yet – no gatherings, no family Thanksgiving celebrations unless you have them outside, and no traveling over 120 miles from home. How does the government hope to enforce that mandate? Moving to Arizona, where mandates are recommendations make life much easier.

While those preventive policies may have saved lives, they changed the economy causing some businesses like home improvement and online stores to experience exponential growth and others to fail. The restrictive policies changed the way we communicate making us much more reliant on digital communication. When I was growing up in the 1960s, we would not have had the technological advances to be able to draw into our cocoons and hibernate until the danger of a pandemic had past.

Even person to person communication has changed since the 2016 election, as we now hesitate to shake hands or hug our friends and family for fear of spreading the virus we don’t know we have.

Lockdowns, sheltering in place, home schooling around the country also put emotional pressure on families who had to change the way they functioned in a matter of a few days. With no change or relief in sight for months and months many families reached into the resources deep within themselves and grew stronger and more resilient during the Pandemic. Other families had fewer inner and financial resources. Some of them erupted in violent behavior. Sadly, the effects of the Pandemic are still with us in 2021.

Obviously, neither the harsh mandates or the flagrant denials worked to cure the Pandemic. Time will tell how well we recover from the effects of the Pandemic during the next administration.

“And so today, at this time, in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again.”

Joe Biden

Internal Changes

I think the Inaugural Address set a tone for peace and respectfulness which is a big change from the cheerleading – rah – rah – rah style of the last President. Whether you are Republican or Democrat, no one can deny that the styles and tones of the two Presidents are radically different.

Some Democrats hope that President Trump, the first president to ever be impeached twice, will be impeached by the Senate barring him from ever holding public office. Some Republicans hope President Biden will be brought to task for what they consider illegal affairs with China. I think both of those efforts will only bring about more rage and revenge-taking sides like we’ve seen in the last four years and of which both sides have been guilty.

In the final days of President Trump’s leadership, we had riots against police brutality that destroyed and looted businesses to make their their point, very different activities and outcomes than the protests of suffragettes and the Civil Rights activists. Most recently we had criminal riots against Capital protesting the duly elected change in government.

Democrats and Republicans reacted at the polls and voted Mr. Trump out of office. Not because he was old or white. Joe Biden is old and white. President Trump simply did not win enough votes to continue as the President of the United States of America.

Personally, I hope these dramas will cease. I’m ready for a change to boring. I felt a wave of relief when I heard President Biden’s words urging us to listen to each other.

“Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where, 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today, we mark the swearing of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change!”

Joe Biden

Past Changes

President Biden highlighted a few of the changes we have seen in recent history that many of us take for granted. In the 1912 presidential campaign, the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, told his staff that he was “definitely and irreconcilably opposed to woman suffrage,” that a “woman’s place was in the home, and the type of woman who took an active part in the suffrage agitation was totally abhorrent” to him.

One hundred years is a very short time, but before that time women could not vote. I grew up knowing women who had not been able to vote. They certainly couldn’t run for high political offices.

Suffragettes passionately and dramatically expressed their views. Believing in their cause, they took pride in going to jail. They didn’t kill people or destroy property. Eventually, they changed history. Kamala Harris stands on their shoulders. All women who voted in this election owe the suffragettes our gratitude. Yes, Mr. Biden, that was a huge change.

But now we will find out if having a woman in office is better than having a man in that same office, or is it just different?

Having different skin colors, ethnic backgrounds, and genders gives people different perspectives but it doesn’t always make them right. Sometimes their ideas seem like a good ideas and they work out well. Other times they don’t. We’ve all experienced that on a personal basis. Success of our ideas often has nothing to do with our the color of our skin. Sometimes a pandemic springs up out of nowhere just after we invested all our savings and open our new restaurant.

As popular as President Obama was, when his term of office ended, the country did not continue his legacy by voting for a woman just because she was a woman. Not at all. More than half the people in the country indicated they wanted a change and rebelled against his liberal leadership by voting for a radically different individual.

The people wanted a dramatic change in this election as well. Remember what Prince Philip said, “Change is a challenge and an opportunity, not a threat.”

“Will we meet our obligations, and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must.”

Joe Biden

Future Changes

Will having diversity in government affect permanent change? It seems like it should. I believe it will if they have the right answers to the problems that come up during their tenure, but I don’t believe they will go away simply because we now have a woman of color as a Vice-President.

Our world will change in the next four years because life brings changes. How we meet those changes determines how much better the world will be for our children and grandchildren.

I hope we will have health, peace and prosperity for all in 2021 and beyond. In addition, I pray that our current leaders will exhibit true leadership and use godly wisdom as they face the next crises that come up.

God bless America.

Reminders

  • Check out #WQWWC Autty Jade’s guest host’s post. Leave a comment, or better yet, write your own post and post a link in her comment section..
  • Check out the new Story Chat, A Post Card from the Past, by Anne Goodwin and leave a comment or ask her a question.
  • Coming Tuesday, a Challenge Host Interview with Restless Jo.

Have a wonderful rest of your week.

25 replies »

  1. What a heartfelt, emotional piece, Marsha. I found myself cheering your new leadership on, even though I know little about either of them. A need for peace and to listen to each other has to be a priority after the trauma of recent times. There have been some very great Americans, and will be again. God bless! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So much change in this post I don’t know where to start. Well, I think that yesterday’s big event is a good thing to acknowledge. Whew … the pandemic has bought about its share of change. Meanwhile, life is full of change … and change is inevitable. Sometimes slow and gradual, other times abruptly fast. … and surely very resisted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People have written books about the changes due to the Pandemic. I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the ice burg yet. There is always a delayed reaction, and there are so many facets of life that are affected: social, emotional, financial, health, not being able to monitor treatment of the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals, the inequality of education in the home, the list goes on and on.

      Like

  3. Beautifully earnest, lucid and powerful, Marsha. Potent writing. Excellent quotation choices. Unity and seeing people as people, and not as “the other side” is my hope for the future. I’ve always detested sides…I think people are far too complex to be all of something, to be neatly categorized and wished, or worse, hated away…there are so many wonderful layers and shades and feelings to discover in every person. We’re all human. Americans. Citizens of planet Earth. Here’s hoping for a more peaceful change, as you mentioned- “I’m ready for a change to boring.” Me tooo. And more love, sharing, listening, being, enjoying. The after-effects of the last four years, the pandemic especially, are going to be so vast and incalculable, but I think like many powerful elements of change, we’ll pick ourselves up and be made the matter through the forging. As for the intense inspiration of more leaders who appeal to people of different backgrounds, that change, too, is incalculable. It’s good for people to see someone with whom they can personally identify and think, “Maybe I could do that too…” Oh there’s so much power in that…we need more of that. Empowerment. Decent examples. People who inspire. People with integrity and character. Oh I’m so thrilled with this post. Wonderful piece, Marsha. All the best- and here’s to kinder, more “boring” year 😉 Cheers- aj

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m looking for boring also! Give me truth, kindness, and policy based on equality, critical thinking, and science. I really think the masks, lockdowns, and social distancing could have worked much better if people had actually followed the recommendations but somehow our country had so many infections and deaths per capita than most others. But, I’m determined to not look back as much as I look forward. Yesterday gave many of us hope and I’m basking in the warmth and joy of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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