From the Editor: Savannah Nelson
It’s been a long week. Since last Tuesday, the United States as we know it has changed forever. There have been rallies and protests, hate crimes and invalidations, solidarity and division. I’ve seen this week bring out the best in some people and the very worst in others.
That’s why I’m not ready yet. I’m not done watching and fact gathering and mourning and deciding where I stand—I can’t quite articulate how I feel, though I feel so much. There’s a heaviness and a looming and somehow, a gleam of hope that I can’t put a voice to just yet.
I can, however, speak to what I know. And luckily, in my life of privilege and opportunity, I have known happiness. And maybe what I need, what we all need, is to find a few moments to remember our glimmers of joy: to keep us from drowning in what feels like a new era of oppression. It’s not to invalidate; it’s to motivate.
I’m thankful for my family. My parents laid the foundation for my entire identity by teaching me kindness, compassion, and empathy. Not only did they instill a sense of equality and hard work, they showed through example and action: my mom and dad have always been supportive, encouraging, fun, and some of the best friends I’ll ever have. My brothers follow suit: they’re intelligent, honest, helpful, and never fail to make me laugh.
I’m thankful for my fiancé. He’s my favorite, and that’s an understatement. At times like these, when I’m in desperate need of cheer, he’s there—goofy and loving and unapologetically so. If I need a reminder of happiness, all I need to do is roll over in the middle of the night and see him there. Or I can think about how we set our wedding date for next September.
I’m thankful for this education, where I get to enroll in diversity classes and writing courses and media studies, so that this spring I can enter into the world with the knowledge to make change through my words. I’ve been so fortunate to have this job, to have met so many passionate teachers, and to have made lasting friendships.
I’m thankful for this Earth and everything it has to offer. Though I’m concerned about its longterm welfare, there’s hope in its beauty. I love the pulchritude of nature and the mountains and each of the seasons. I love the people who inhabit this planet, whom I believe really are good at heart. And, like President Obama referenced, I’m glad that the sun always rises.
This list is more than a precursor to a holiday glorifying the slaughter of Native Americans. It’s not just a list that I can whip out and read while we carve some turkey in lieu of answering questions of who I voted for and how school is going. It’s a reminder to me, and hopefully for others, that there are things worth fighting for, now and always.