Kindness On Top

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President Obama is a kind man. You can see it in his eyes. You can see that he loves other people, that he can love women and children without threat, to himself or them. He’s not afraid of other people’s personal power. He’s not afraid of powerful women. He’s not afraid of much I don’t think.

I’ve been frustrated by some of Obama’s choices (tackling health care before climate change, not fighting dirty enough to counter the obstructionist Republican Congress) but I also have deep admiration for his intelligence, resolve, patience and kindness.

There’s no kindness evident in the administration Trump is assembling. One nasty person after another has been nominated for the Cabinet — misogynists, homophobes, xenophobes, billionaires with no compassion. Already people around me are longing for some sign that those who’ll be making decisions for all of us, our next leaders, care about something besides themselves, their rich friends, and tearing down protections for people “other” than them — women, LBTQI people, brown people, black people, Muslims, Jews, Palestinians, refugees.

Is this what we get because a black man who is kind and trustworthy has been President?

My series of collages to make sense of what’s happening in national politics continues. Last night I again used Obama’s face and words, from an interview in Rolling Stone. His eyes — kind eyes, compassionate eyes, brave eyes —  kept looking out from the weave of words.

There’s a message in those eyes, a message President Obama spoke to all of us. “There’s no benefit that’s derived from pulling into a fetal position. We go out there, and we work. And we slog through challenges, and over time things get better.”

So let’s get to work and make sure we get kindness on top again.

 

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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