In 2006 I was at Austin City Limits music festival with my kids, the youngest of whom had turned 6 days earlier. During Tom Petty’s set it started pouring rain and G got really upset, we packed up and headed out, my tiny, frightened, child crying not-so-quietly beside me in the large crowd of people leaving the event. A woman gave her her umbrella- “it’ll be ok” she said “we’re all in this together”.
her kindness, and those words specifically, were so powerful – I can’t get enough of them.
I’m noticing them more and more. They’re even popping up in articles about preparing for Coronavirus.
Here we are, three years into caged kids, separated families, klan marches, love letters to dictators, alternative facts, fast food award lunches, judge threatening, lawlessness. And we are here in part because 17,000 people in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania forgot that we are ALL in this together and voted like they were alone.
Maybe we can get those people back, maybe we can’t. The goal should be to reach the people alienated by those votes, by votes in years past, by gerrymandered districts, by racist voter ID laws, by purged voter rolls. We have to show them that WE know that we are all in this together.
Am I going to stop trolling the current resident of the White House on twitter? HELL NO. He stands in opposition to EVERYTHING that makes us WE.
I’m getting off track… Disney.
I was in Disney last month and even when I’m in my happy place my anxiety about the world doesn’t go away, if anything it intensifies. Surrounded by the cutest happy babies, the most cranky overtired toddlers having 6pm meltdowns, grumpy adults who missed their naps… Surrounded by tourists from all over the world who still want to spend their money and their time in our country despite everything going on here. While America is working on becoming as tribal as possible Disney is the melting pot.
aside: Unfortunately the Disney melting pot excludes the poor and less privileged. We need a living wage, universal healthcare and child care! We need to stop insisting that our baristas have bachelor’s degrees with 100,000 in student loans, and start encouraging people to explore the trades. We need to make it ok to completely change careers in midlife, if we can’t course correct we are lost.
Getting off track again – back to Disney. We were in EPCOT and I was standing in line in a restroom. A stall had come empty and the lady at the front of the line didn’t notice, a woman who was headed outside did notice and walked the lady to the empty stall. A little girl in front of me said “that was really nice!” and the woman said “sweetheart, we’re all in this together”.
I walked out of there and said to my husband: “remind me to write a blog post about all being in this together”
so here we are.
If we’re all in it together in the BATHROOM, and we’re all in it together in the rain, can we all please be in it together when we go vote? When we talk about people who are different than us? When we talk TO people who are different than us? When we think about educating our kids, or keeping them safe with gun laws that make damn sense? When we talk about immigration and refugees and the homeless and our treatment of veterans? (and in the most wealthy country on earth we CAN take care of all of them) Or when we think about the climate crisis?
Say it- every day- to yourself or to someone else, make them believe you, believe it yourself: “Sweetheart, we’re all in this together.”