After watching today’s impeachment inquiry hearing, I am reminded that wearing my heart on my sleeve is better than the alternative.
I remember the day Bobby Kennedy was shot. It was a hot summer day. I was sixteen and the power had just gone off in our small brick ranch house. Flinging the windows open, I tried to cool my bedroom. Sleep. It was impossible.
Unable to distract myself, the events of the day played in my head. Soon, I was crying. Hearing me, my dad tiptoed in my room. Tried to calm me. But I couldn’t deal with the fact that a good man with so much promise had been killed for what seemed to me like nothing. I was scared. Angry. I wanted answers. I’ll never forget what my father told me.
“I’m sorry, Laura, but there is evil in the world. There always has been. Always will be.”
Today, as I watched the impeachment inquiry hearing, I was remembering my father’s words. And I was thinking about another whole generation of young Americans who are realizing there is evil in the world. How are their parents explaining that to them as they learn that our president risked this country’s national security for his own selfish purposes? What will those young people say when the impeachment inquiry gets uglier? When they realize that the man in charge is nothing but a thug.
I come from a family of people that share the same trait: we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I was always overly sensitive, my mother would say. But I also tried to overlook other people’s imperfections and motives. Give them a second chance. Most of the time, I was lucky to find myself in the company of people who shared that view. Sometimes, however, I have been hurt simply because I was trying very hard not to hurt others. To rationalize their actions. Or blame myself for not being aware of their intentions.
I suppose, in some people’s eyes, I seem gullible and weak.
I am not. I know there is evil in the world. It has visited me a number of times.
But I will not give it the power to change how I am in the world, no matter how many times I am hurt. I will not succumb to rage or revenge. Because I have learned and know that there is also good in the world.
Much more of it.